Exciting plans are evolving as the Bhutan Foundation and the Division for Conservation of Heritage Sites (DCHS) collaborate to restore and conserve the Wangduechhoeling Palace as a museum and a center for learning to ensure its sustainability and, as a byproduct, provide employment opportunities to the local people. With physical restoration of the palace underway, a two-day visioning exercise was conducted in Thimphu in March to chart out the way forward for the proposed museum. Once completed, the Wangduechhoeling Palace museum will have rooms allocated for exhibitions of arts and crafts portraying the life led by Bhutan’s monarchs.
As a result of the visioning exercise, the team is considering giving opportunities to engage the local youth to become museum guides and having live exhibits, including Yathra weaving, a local weaving tradition of the Bumthang valley using yak wool. Additionally, the team will also explore reviving local festivals and events that are historically relevant to the palace. Mr. Zack McKown, of Tsao & McKown, is one of the architect behind the museum design providing pro-bono support to preserve this heritage site. Zack was an integral part of the visioning exercise and provided technical expertise.The visioning exercise was attended by members of the Bhutan Foundation, DCHS and the Department of Culture and the Dzongkhag Administration of Bumthang.