by Zhang Ning, Hari Paudel, Xu Yanyan

In the six days since a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, more than 5,000 people lost their lives and the destruction of cultural heritage has been overwhelming making Nepalese culture gem lose glamour.
wpid-Before-and-after-pictures-of-Nepal.jpgXinhua’s reporters toured Bhaktapur Durbar Square in the Bhaktapur district, 13 km off capital Kathmandu, on Wednesday, witnessing seven ancient buildings at the site collapsed or severely damaged in the tremor.
Bhaktapur Durbar Square is one of the three Durbar Squares in the Kathmandu Valley, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The earthquake damaged many buildings in the square. The main temple in Bhaktapur’s square lost its roof, while the Vatsala Devi Temple, famed for its sandstone walls and gold-topped pagodas, was demolished.
Bhesh Narayan Dahal, Director General of the Department of Archeology in the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, was inspecting at the square.
“I cannot express the sadness of loss in words. Various cultural heritages were destroyed causing a great civilization loss,” Dahal told Xinhua.
“Bhaktapur, one of our important traditional cities, has lost its beauty,” he said sadly.
The official listed seven significant historic buildings which were damaged here, including the Vatsala Devi Temple and Kedarnath Temple.
Among them, the white-colored Fasidega Temple, featuring five levels of animal statues, lost its white pagoda on the roof.
The Vatsala Devi Temple were completely destroyed.
Dahal said the authorities give priority to remove the debris and will recover the survived statues.
“After the evaluation, we will try to rebuild the buildings on the previous designs,” said the official.
He said the Nepalese police and army personnel are stationed at the site, keeping order and security.
Mohan Bahadur Rana, Senior Head Constable of Armed Police Force (APF), was among around 30 APF personnel still on the rescue mission trying to find humans, alive or dead, under the debris.
Krishna Hari Awal, a 63-year-old local resident, was at the Vidhyarthi Niketan School near the temples, when the earthquake occurred.
“The earth trembled here and there and the loud sound covered the sky,” he recalled, “We saw the dust coming up to the sky from the whole city. It was really a terrific time that I felt in my life.”
He said the damaged historic buildings are the real identity of Nepal and should be rebuilt.
The National Art Museum at the square was also affected by the tremor, as cracks were said to be seen on walls and floors.
Madan Ranjitkar, the museum guard, rejected our access into the building, citing security as reason.
“I was inside the museum during the shock. I thought there was very less chance to live,” said the guard.
There are 50 to 60 paintings of historical and cultural importance being kept at the museum, which remain safe after the quake, said the guard.
“The statues made of stones are completely safe,” he said. No member of museum management was seen on the spot so the guard’s claim cannot be verified.
Dahal said total evaluation of the damage at historic sites in all the quake-affected areas are still underway.
“The damage will do serious harm to the country’s tourism business,” said the official. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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