This national pride initiative seeks to make Lumbini a universal centre for Buddhist pilgrimage
On April 25, an informal meeting was held at The Marriott, one of the recently commenced luxurious property in Kathmandu in which the gathering saw the participation from various stakeholders and visionaries who could contribute in establishing a state of the art Buddhist museum in Lumbini. As the ‘Reimagining A Museum’ initiative, the team put forward their plans and invitations to collaborate and support the scheme, where pilgrims, visitors and locals could be divulged to Buddha’s life long journey and his teachings.
Located inside the Sacred Garden Area of the birthplace of the Buddha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Phase one of the Lumbini Museum will be built in a heritage building previously designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese Architect Kenzo Tange. This showpiece will now be re-imagined by Taiwanese Architect Kris Yao and his team to present a unique cultural and spiritual experience in Lumbini. The work is expected to be finished by October 2020. On the other hand, Phase two will start the construction of a new building compatible with Kenzo Tange’s vision and the surrounding environment.
Embracing the design plans for the Lumbini Museum, different dignitaries at the gathering featured the requirement for a progressively complete and enlightening experience in Lumbini and the need for it to be viewed as a centre for harmony, resilience and peace.
Working in close coordination with authorities from the Lumbini Development Trust, the Department of Archaeology and Nepal's Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, the core team incorporates global award-winning Chief Architect Kris Yao; Chief Interpretive Planner Albert Paravi Wongchirachai, one of the organisers of Thailand's National Design Center; Museum Exhibition and Facilities Planner Charles Sutyla who has worked on museum ventures all through Asia-pacific. Executive Director Sumnima Udas is the Founder of the Lumbini Museum Initiative who previously worked as a CNN International Correspondent. Arts and Acquisitions Director Cristeena Chitrakar worked previously as a Digital Archivist at Freer and Sackler, Smithsonian Institute and holds an MA in Buddhist Art and Conservation. Development and Fundraising Director Astha Thapa is the present Chair of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, Nepal while the Communications Director is Mahima Shrestha who has immense experience in PR and media relations in a wide scope of sectors.