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Video transcription Boguslaw Bob Marek & Chhitup Lama

Invisible Heritage a Polish-Nepali initiative

BOGUSLAW: Invisible Heritage a Polish-Nepali initiative. Boguslaw Bob Marek KULCAN.

CHHITUP: Chhitup Lama from Head Nepal, Namaste.

(Bell Ringing)

BOGUSLAW: The sound of this temple bell is intended as an invitation to Nepal, a small country in the Himalayas famous for its valleys and snow covered peaks, but many mountain lovers discover only on arrival that Nepal is also a UNICEF world heritage treasure box with gorgeous ancient temples and historic buildings gathered in Kathmandu Valley in Thamel, Patan, and Bhaktapur. The 2015 earthquake turned many ancient buildings into piles of rubble, including this Vatsala Durga Temple in Bhaktapur. One could sarcastically say that, for persons who are blind the loss doesn't matter much because they have never seen a temple and may not even know what they look like. As these drawings suggest, made by a blind child and an adult. More than a physical resemblance, the curved lines, and a group of circles reveal a desire to imagine the size, shape, and the interiors of the place of worship but persons who are blind do enjoy visiting historic sites and despite extensive damage there is still a lot to explore by touch, small statues on ground level, and beautifully handcrafted doors along the narrow streets. A lot of reconstruction work is going on in Bhaktapur inspired by architect Ravindrapuri and involving the whole local community. As a result, The Vatsala Durga Temple once again, dominates Durbar square in Bhaktapur. This work provides an opportunity to make Nepal's cultural heritage accessible to blind visitors in the form of miniature replicas of temples and stupas. Some already exists produced by DAF, Digital Archaeology Foundation, based in Nepal. The plan born in Poland is beginning to become a reality with the help of a group of enthusiasts from Nepal including Bhaktapur Tourism Development Committee. The idea is to employ local artists and craftsmen to make a series of miniatures of Bhaktapur temples, some weather proof to be placed next to original sites and a series of a small replicas for a permanent exhibition, which will be visible through touch to blind visitors, functioning also as a self-financed tourists attraction. To watch an expanded version of this presentation, meet the group of enthusiasts who started this project and follow its progress, visit the website, www.invisiblenepal.org. Thank you.