Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli thanked the US Embassy in Kathmandu for financially supporting the restoration of infrastructure damaged by the April 2015 earthquake.
On the occasion of the inaugural ceremony of the renovated Gaddi Baithak building based in Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli highlighted the mythical, historic and cultural significance of the heritage site.
Recalling the mega earthquake that shook the country to its core and induced huge losses of lives and properties including cultural and historic heritages, the prime minister said, helping hands provided by our neighbors and other countries including the United States during Nepal’s dire need was noteworthy
“Now the journey towards development and prosperity has begun following the completion of political struggles,” the prime minister was quoted as saying in Rastriya Samachar Samiti.
Gaddi Baithak, the historic building that is located at the heart of Basantapur Durbar Square and was destroyed by the April 2015 earthquake, has been inaugurated today post reconstruction.
The historic Gaddi Baithak, dating back to the Rana regime, stands as a tribute to the European architectural style. It was retrofitted and renovated under the partnership of Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief and Nepal Government’s Department of Archaeology. The US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) had sponsored US Dollars 700,000 for this purpose.
Thanking the concerned agencies for supporting the retrofitting, renovation, and reconstruction of the quake-damaged cultural heritages in the country, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Prasad Adhikari stated that such efforts would contribute towards the conservation of cultural heritages and promotion of tourism.
PM Oli and Charge d’ Affaires jointly inaugurated the newly reconstructed Mahadev Temple, Kageshwor Temple, Laxmi Narayan Temple and Saraswati Temple in the premises that were built in the 17th and 19th centuries.
These Newari style architectural monuments were restored and seismically strengthened by Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust with financial aid from the American government through AFCP which had provided USD 2 million through emergency grant.
According to a press release issued by the U.S. Embassy Kathmandu, the U.S. government’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation(AFCP) awarded a $700,000 grant, and worked in partnership with Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief and the Government of Nepal’s Department of Archeology (DOA), to fully-restore and seismically strengthen the historic Gaddi Baithak, which was heavily damaged in the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.
“This collaborative effort between Nepali and American cultural heritage experts presented an opportunity to restore and seismically strengthen Gaddi Baithak, one of the most important structures of Nepal’s cultural heritage and history. This real result was made possible by our governments and communities working together collaboratively,” said Malnak. “The restoration of Gaddi Baithak successfully shows that restoring these types of buildings in the Kathmandu Valley is both possible and cost-effective.”
While restoring this heritage site, engineers specializing in earthquake resilience teamed up with architects experienced with cultural heritage preservation and restoration. Together they designed and oversaw the restoration of the building, including targeted structural interventions to improve the building’s seismic strengthening without compromising its architectural integrity. These efforts also used local craftspeople and traditional building materials and techniques, to ensure Gaddi Baithak is now more resilient to earthquakes and will be preserved for future generations.
Through the AFCP’s post-earthquake emergency grant of $200,000, Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT) restored and seismically strengthened these Newari style architectural monuments.
The Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation provides direct grant support for the preservation of cultural heritage sites in countries worldwide. AFCP is the U.S. Government’s most significant cultural preservation initiative abroad and since 2001, it has supported over 850 projects to preserve cultural heritage in more than 125 countries. In Nepal, over the past two decades, 22 projects were completed totaling over $3.4 million.
PM Inaugurating Gaddi Baithak
PM Oli with other dignitaries