Repairing a historic palace in Nepal

The Gaddi Baithak building in Nepal, heavily damaged in a 2015 earthquake, is getting some help to make sure the palace structure can resist future quakes.

The U.S. is providing $700,000 to help rebuild Gaddi Baithak, a cornerstone of the Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The grant is the largest awarded worldwide from the U.S. government’s Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP). The grant was awarded to Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief, a U.S.-based charitable organization.

The Gaddi Baithak restoration project “aims to restore this important structure to its original grandeur,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan said at a September 30 ceremony.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015 struck near the country’s capital, Kathmandu, and claimed almost 9,000 lives. The quake affected more than 6.6 million people in Nepal, India, China and Bangladesh. One year after the quake, recovery continues to move forward.

The AFCP has invested $2.9 million to preserve Nepal’s cultural heritage over the past 20 years. Sixteen projects are completed, and work is underway on projects at the Hanuman Dhoka complex and in Patan Durbar Square. Worldwide, the fund has supported more than 640 cultural preservation projects in more than 100 countries.