Kathmandu Metropolitan City is preparing to reconstruct the historic Bag Durbar using modern construction materials and only retaining the neo-classical look of the building.

The building housed the KMC office before the 2015 earthquakes damaged it. Only the ground floor of the building is currently being used by KMC.

A letter sent by the Department of Archaeology to KMC on May 29, 2018, had paved the way for demolition and reconstruction of the building. The letter states, “An inventory of all materials retrieved from the building should be made. Retrieved materials should be used while reconstructing the building in compliance with Ancient Monument Preservation Act 1956.”

The act states that archaeologically important buildings must be preserved in its original state.

A letter issued by the DoA earlier on November 1, 2017, had requested KMC to halt demolition of the building. It had also stated that the building could be made habitable after retrofitting and renovation and no major changes could be made to the original structure of the building.

The DoA letter had also stated that the building was constructed between 1803 and 1804 when Bhimsen Thapa was the prime minister.

DoA Director General Bhes Narayan Dahal said they had allowed demolition of the building after consulting structural engineers. “However, we have asked the KMC to restore the building to its original design, using traditional construction materials,” Dahal added.