An almost 5000-year old world heritage site – already threatened with decay by exposure to harsh climatic conditions – could be on the verge of becoming an endangered site.
Mohenjo daro (Mound of the dead) in Pakistan is home to one of the earliest urban settlements of the Old World – the Indus Valley Civilization.
However, after a couple of local politicians of the country hosted a recreational event on the ancient ruins earlier in February, United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was left appalled.
Despite prior warnings and petitions by anxious citizens, the opening ceremony of the Sindh Culture Festival was held by building a huge stage on the site.
The level of indifference and irresponsibility shown by the local authorities after the event was even worse.
A UNESCO representative reportedly sent a notice to Pakistan, inquiring about the possible damage made to the prehistoric remains.
The officials, instead of addressing the issue, started blaming each other for the delayed response. Some of them even denied the existence of the letter from the UNESCO.
A mission from the international agency is expected to arrive in Pakistan to examine the conservation efforts amid fears that Mohenjo daro might be declared an endangered site, since a considerable amount of damage has been done to the ruins.
“Once UNESCO decides that, it can stop funding the maintenance and conservation of the site,” a source told Dawn newspaper, one of Pakistan’s leading English-language dailies.
The fate of the magnificent piece of world heritage now hangs in the air, thanks to the stupidity of a handful of influential politicians.
Mohenjo daro was beautiful:
The following shows what happened to it after the festival ended: