Thinley Namgay 

The Department of Culture (DoC) trained five architects and five engineers from private companies to conserve heritage buildings.

During the two-month training, the engineers and architects learnt basic principles and approaches to conserve heritage sites.

DoC officials said most of the small-scale works on heritage buildings in the dzongkhags are currently outsourced to local contractors, who do not have work experience and expertise on heritage sites resulting in irreversible damage or loss of the heritage sites.

They said that while there are many technical firms and professionals in the market, who are interested in conservation work, engaging them directly is not possible as heritage conservation is a specialised field of work that requires specific skills and knowledge.

“The engineers and architects who attended the training could now execute conservation works professionally,” an official said.

DoC would outsource conservation works of heritage buildings to private entities in the 13th Five Year Plan.

During the training, participants learnt about cultural heritage, identification and evaluation of cultural heritage, national and global perspectives on principles of heritage site conservation, and methodology and documentation of heritage sites.

They also learnt to analyse, interpret and integrate disaster risk reduction, conservation approach and techniques, and field visits including practical assignments and assessment.

Home Minister Ugyen Dorji said the training was an innovative approach to understanding heritage sites better.

Lyonpo said it is time engineering colleges in the country have a curriculum on national heritage so that engineers and architects are better prepared to carry out conservation activities in future.