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Nepal palace to be opened for public

world Updated: Nov 08, 2008 00:59 IST
Anirban Roy

The majestic Narayanhitty palace, which was the castle of the dethroned Shah Dynasty of Nepal, will be made public in April 2009.

The Nepal government hopes to open the Narayanhitty Palace Museum within the next six months, officials at the Department of Archaeology said. The opening has been delayed as the government is yet to finalise a proposal of its management.

Bishnu Raj Karki, Deputy-Director General of the Department of Archaeology told Hindustan Times that they have finalised a detailed proposal for the national museum’s management.

The proposal has been forwarded to the Ministry of Culture, and will subsequently be put up for cabinet approval, Karki said. The frequent bureaucratic reshuffles delayed the preparations of the final plan.

Nepal’s last Shah King, Gyanendra Shah, vacated the sprawling Narayanhitty Palace, on June 11 this year, after the Constituent Assembly on May 28 declared the Himalayan nation as a republic.

At present, Gyanendra Shah and ex-queen Komal are housed at the Nagarjun Palace, a summer hunting retreat of the dethroned royals.

The national museum, which is located in downtown Kathmandu, will showcase relics of the 240-year-old Shah Dynasty in four separate buildings within the premises of the Narayanhitty Palace, Karki said.

As per the preliminary estimate, it will cost some Rs 40 (Nepali) million a year to run the museum. The government also plans to employ 180 out of the total of 721 former Narayanhitty Royal Palace employees in the museum. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already occupied the building of the erstwhile royal secretariat (close to the west gate of the palace).