Excerpt from the Foreword
The idea of writng this book stemmed out from the need to rethink an excavation carried out in Kathmandu in years now distant from the people who took part in it and even more distant from the recent history of Nepal. Today the Valley of Kathmandu is a profoundly different place from what it was in the 1980s, and in many ways unrecognisable. The idea of the book, however, is also due to the long-term consequences of the situation created in Italy between 2008 and 2011, the year in which the Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente (IsIAO), sonship of the Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente (IsMEO), closed down. The latter had been established in 1933 by Giovanni Gentile and then directed for a long time by Giuseppe Tucci. Both Institutes, as far as field activities in Asia were concerned, were in close relationship with the Museo Nazionale di Arte Orientale, where the documentation of the excavations was deposited, in particular the graphic and photographic material (drawings of all kinds, negatives and prints). In 2016 the Museum left its headquarters in the very central Via Merulana in Rome and was joined to the Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografico Luigi Pigorini, merging into the new Museo delle Civiltà, where today the largest part of the documentation of the archaeological undertakings of the past is kept, waiting to be rearranged and made usable.