How can the US Embassy help Nepal in restoring it cultural heritage and idols?
The US Embassy in Nepal has been promoting the conservation of cultural heritage for a long time. A recent example is the restoration of Gaddi Baithak of Basantapur, which was damaged by the 2015 earthquake. We feel honoured that we were able to help restore it to its original grandeur. We also support preservation of Nepal’s temples and monasteries through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation, as I’ve just mentioned.
Could you tell us something about your personal interest in preserving art?
I’ve had an enduring interest in art as a means of communication, art history, and art preservation throughout my life, and my Masters’ level studies focused on Art History. I also had the opportunity as a young man to live and work in North Africa, and study the ancient architecture, statuary, and hieroglyphs from Cairo (in Egypt) to Meroe (in Sudan) and all points in-between. Art has been a vital form of human communication since prehistoric times. It is a reflection of who we were, what we believed, and how we lived. When we preserve historic art, we embrace and conserve history, and honor those ancient storytellers who used form and texture, rather than words, to express cultural value.
Bringing our gods home, Sahina Shrestha