The US government’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, which undertook reconstruction of Gaddhi Baithak at Basantapur that suffered damage in 2015 earthquakes, has decided to hand over the building to the government on June 27.
The AFCP had announced a fund of $ 700,000 for the reconstruction of the iconic Rana-era building on September 2016. US-based charitable engineering organisation Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief engineering was entrusted with ‘repairing and improving the palace’s structural safety and making it earthquake resilient.’
Site engineer Bibek Pradhan said, “Restoration and seismic strengthening of the building will be completed within a few days and handed over to the Government of Nepal.”
Pradhan also claimed that they fully upheld the archaeological principles while reconstructing the heritage building. “We used mud walls and lime mortar to reconstruct the building,” he said.
Gaddhi Baithak, which literally means ‘throne hall’, is one of the major heritage building that is being completed at Basantapur World Heritage Site.
Reconstruction of the remaining other half of Gaddhi Baithak, which is supposed to be reconstructed by Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Museum, is yet to start. The building was constructed by Chandra Shamsher Rana in 1908.
Like other Rana-era buildings, Gaddi Baithak is also a typical example of European neoclassical design. It is supported by large plinths with floral designs and is coloured white.
Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari had earlier said that the government was planning to use the building to host reception to foreign dignitaries by the state. Of all Rana-era buildings that suffered damage during 2015 earthquakes, the GaddhiBaithak will be the first to be reconstructed.
The AFCP is considered one of the important cultural initiatives abroad. According to AFCP’s press release issued earlier, it is mentioned that the organisation supported more than 640 cultural preservation projects in over 100 counties since 2001.
Source: The Himalayan Times