Heritage preservation is a resource-intensive activity nested among other processes in the public administration, related to identity building and touristic product enhancement. Strategies and schemata associated with heritage preservation sprang in the western world after WWII and they have been adapted, in the form of ‘heritage management’, in various contexts with questionable effectiveness regarding sustainability. Our paper discusses the case of the post-earthquake cultural, social and political landscape of the World Heritage Site of Kathmandu valley in Nepal. By reviewing the bibliography and drawing upon various case studies of post-earthquake heritage restoration, we focus on the traditional ways of managing human and cultural resources in the area as related to the modern national heritage management mechanism. We also examine how traditional practices, re-interpreted into a modern context, can point towards inclusive and sustainable forms of collaboration based on the commons. We shed light on the elements of an emerging management system that could protect the vulnerable monuments through community participation, adapted to the challenging realities of the Nepalese heritage and its stakeholders.
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