Nepal, Patan Royal Palace - Restoration project of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna
In April of 2015, an earthquake rated 7.8 on the Richter scale, shook Nepal and killed 9,000 people, injuring more than 22,000. It was the worst earthquake to strike the mountainous region in the past 80 years. Apart from the many lives lost, the earthquake also destroyed numerous homes and cultural heritage sites.
Nepal, one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia, relies heavily on tourism to its many cultural heritage sights. The Institute of Conservation and Restoration of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (die Angewandte) has been working campaigns at the reconstruction of Patan Royal Palace in the south-central part of the Kathmandu Valley since 2010. Patan, today also known as Lalitpur, is one of the oldest known Buddhist towns in the world.
After the earthquake, the institute got involved in reconstructing the structures which had been destroyed. In the course of this year’s reconstruction campaign, many works of art could be restored. Amongst them is the famous King Yoganarendra Malla’s Statue, one of the monuments on Durbar square across from the Patan Royal palace which had collapsed due to the shock of the earthquake.
The fire-gilded crowned king statue was heavily damaged and deformed during the fall. This year, the multipiece stone basis of the statue could be repaired and was reinstalled on the square. Next year, the top metal part of the statue will be repaired. After three years of restauration work, the so-called “ivory window”, one of the most important historic pieces in Patan could be reinstalled on the facade of the royal palace. The two side windows of the three-part piece were replaced with accurate copies of the original window. The originals of the fragile ivory construction will be remaining in a museum. The middle-part decorated with fire-guilded repoussé metalwork was restored.
Link to the institute’s blog about the reconstruction work in 2015: http://http-konstres.uni-ak.ac.at/wordpress/?page_id=2362