The Nepal Quake: Protecting Cultural Heritage

On April 25, 2015, Nepal suffered a magnitude 7.8 earthquake killing over 8,000 people and injuring thousands more. The quake damaged buildings throughout the Kathmandu Valley and collapsed temples in the region's three Durbar Squares—Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur—all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, widespread fear and rumors of looting spread throughout the region. The government responded by dispatching military and police to secure the devastated locations. Local experts and archaeologists are working to oversee the collection and protection of important pieces of religious artwork from the temples during the cleanup. They aim to incorporate these original pieces into the reconstruction of these sites.

Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust safeguards the threatened architectural heritage of the Kathmandu Valley. An Architectural Heritage Response Fund is currently in place for the preservation of the historic buildings in this region after the 2015 Nepal earthquake.