It is with great pleasure, as a director of the board of Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT) welcome all of you to the Patan Durbar Square.
As a director, I feel privileged to be associated with such a dynamic organization and to be working with Erich, Dr.Rohit, Raju and other board members for twenty years. I have visited New York many times for KVPT programs and also London where KVPT was recognized by His Majesty King Charles III for our work and we were all invited to Clarence House for lunch to be encouraged by His Majesty for the hard work that KVPT has tirelessly done since 1991 in Nepal. He also generously donated to the Trust.
The KVPT has been working for the last thirty years, restoring our beloved temples and monuments in Kathmandu and Patan Durbar Square and around the Kathmandu Valley. This would not have been possible without the support of our local and international donors, well-wishers and friends of heritage conservation. Work was carried on steadily but the earthquake seven years ago destroyed many of our temples monuments and monasteries and reduced them to rubble which brought shock and sadness to the Nepali people and the rest of the world.
In the aftermath of the quake, we were in the process of literally picking up the pieces and putting them back together some as a jigsaw puzzle, especially with the old wood carvings which have very old sophisticated and complete systems. When they are assembled together you can then truly admire the skill of the Nepalese wood carvers and also the metal artisans and stone sculptors, plus the hundreds of other builders and laborers who slowly but steadily worked very hard to build back better so that in the next earthquake they will still be intact and not be destroyed. Most of our temples and monuments are over 300-500 years only and they do have a shelf life, it is amazing that they were in quite a good shape structurally and were fine had it not been for the nearly 7.8 scale quake of 2015.
Many were also restored after the great earthquake in 1934, eighty-eight years ago, so now we have to build stronger more thoughtfully and to be prepared to face other calamities of Acts of God in the near future again. Nepal is famous for its mountains judges beautiful landscapes and friendly people.
People come from all over the globe to see and experience the seven monuments zone recognized by UNESCO within the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Sites. Let’s all of us gathered here today with common goals for the love of history, architecture, culture and beauty work together to save our precious monuments handed to us by our forefathers to preserve them for our future generations our society's children grandchildren and for the people our beloved country Nepal and the rest of the world. As you know in today’s world we are one people one world on planet earth.
World Heritage sites around the world are of great interest to people and people travel to see their natural wonders natural and mandate archeological remains to marvel and wonder at what our ancestors have accomplished. This promotes tourism globally which is a very important revenue for all the countries like Italy.
The KVPT board would like to thank all the people who have donated so generously to help in the rebuilding of our precious monuments after the earthquake and for their support and love of world heritage sites, particularly in this Patan Durbar Square. The American Ambassador Trust has been providing support over the years. Similarly, the Governments of Japan and the Government of India has been also been providing generous support to heritage conservation.
I would like to thank Rohit Ranjitkar and his team of builders and craftsmen who are working painstakingly to bring our temples and monuments back to their original splendor and glory. Finally, it is so wonderful to have Erich Theophile with us today to motivate encourage and lead the KVPT which is doing such wonderful work in heritage conservation and restoration. With his guidance, leadership and enthusiasm, all of us have been very motivated to continue our love for art culture and heritage construction.
Pande is a board director of KVPT. Excerpts of her statement delivered at the program