After the earthquake
Research, protection and preservation of Nepal’s cultural heritage

Symposium start page


Day 1: Monday, 22 October 2018

9:00–9:15 Registration (including tea/coffee)


Welcome by Univ. Prof. Dr. Martin Gaenszle, Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna, and Director of Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Documentation of Inner and South Asian Cultural History (CIRDIS), and Prof. Dr. Stephen Taylor, Director of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS), Durham University

Special guest lecture


Heritage management in the Kathmandu Valley after the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake

Saubhagya Pradhananga, Head of National Archives, Government of Nepal

Session 1


Which lessons has Nepal drawn from past earthquakes? Local cultural responses to seismic events

Axel Michaels, Heidelberg University and Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities


Notes on practices of protecting and repatriating Nepal’s cultural heritage since 2015

Melissa Kerin, Washington and Lee University, Lexington

10:55–11:15 Tea/coffee


Communities and heritage in post-earthquake Kathmandu: Reflections from Durham’s UNESCO Chair research in the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site

Anouk Lafortune-Bernard, Durham University


Emergency response for cultural heritage: Patan and the earthquake 2015

Gabriela Krist, Martina Haselberger, University of Applied Arts Vienna


Further questions and discussion session 1

12:30–13:30 Lunch

Public keynote lecture

Location: Theatersaal, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Sonnenfelsgasse 19
Time: 17:00

Welcome by HR Univ. Doz. Dr. Michael Alram, Vice President, Austrian Academy of Sciences, H.E. Prakash Kumar Suvedi, Ambassador of Nepal, and Prof. Dr. Birgit Kellner, Director of the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (IKGA), Austrian Academy of Sciences

Seismic safety: Interdisciplinary approaches for assessing resilience and pathways towards the rehabilitation of the cultural heritage of Kathmandu in post-earthquake Nepal

Robin Coningham, UNESCO Chair on Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage and Associate Director of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS), Durham University

Abstract of public keynote lecture

Reception following the lecture

Day 2: Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Session 2


Ground penetrating radar survey: Identifying and protecting Kathmandu’s subsurface heritage

Armin Schmidt, GeoDataWIZ


Unearthing Kathmandu’s hidden heritage: New archaeological sequences for the Kathmandu Valley

Christopher Davis, Durham University

10:30–11:00 Tea/coffee


Reading the soil: Geoarchaeological perspectives on monument foundations in the Kathmandu Valley

Ian Simpson, University of Stirling


Pathways to linking texts and archaeology: Inscriptions and chronicles in the light of new findings

Nina Mirnig, Austrian Academy of Sciences


Further questions and discussion session 2

12:30–13:30 Lunch

Session 3


Resurrection of a king: Conservation and re-erection of the earthquake-damaged pillar and sculpture of Yoganarendra Malla

Marija Milchin, Martina Haselberger, Gabriela Krist, University of Applied Arts Vienna


Historic pictures of the aftermath of the earthquake in 1934

Martin Gaenszle, ISTB, University of Vienna


How to archive and disseminate research data from endangered sites

Verena Widorn, CIRDIS, University of Vienna


Further questions and discussion session 3

15:15–15:45 Tea/coffee

 Round table


Discussion led by Prof. Dr. Axel Michaels, Heidelberg University and Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities