Nepalese temple, 4 other sites receive funding totaling $1M

NEW YORK (AP) — The World Monuments Fund on announced grants Monday totaling $1 million for five historic sites, including a 16th-century Nepalese temple destroyed in last year’s massive earthquake.

Monday’s announcement comes one year to the day after the Char Narayan temple was decimated by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which claimed 9,000 lives, injured 22,000 people and destroyed 600,000 homes.

The temple, located in the main square of the city of Patan, will be 90 percent rebuilt with salvaged pieces and seismically retrofitted, the New York-based preservation group said.

The other sites receiving funding are:

— Arch of Janus, one of the remaining buildings of the ancient Roman marketplace Forum Boarium. The arch has been off limits to the public since 1993, when a car bomb exploded nearby. The funding will support a complete restoration of the monument.

— A 19th-century gatehouse in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park, the oldest and largest public park in Latin America. The gatehouse, which once served as an entrance to a military school, will be transformed into a museum and orientation center;

— The cloistered convents of Seville, Spain, built between the 13th and 17th centuries, many of which struggle to keep up with maintenance costs. The fund will work with the city’s tourism office to create a guidebook highlighting the historic significance of the 15 convents that exist. And a section of the 14th-century Convent of Santa Ines will be adapted for public use as part of a pilot program.

— Moseley Road Baths, an Edwardian swimming complex in Birmingham, England, threatened with closure because of lack of government funds. They are the oldest of only three historic bathing in Britain. The funding will help support the complex’s advocacy programs.

All five sites were included last fall on the organization’s 2016 World Monument Watch list of historic and cultural places threatened by neglect, overdevelopment or social, political and economic change.

The funding for the five sites is provided by American Express, a longtime supporter of the fund.

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