A Virtual Travel Through CKNP





On September 12th in Skardu, advice at the K2 Italian Museum, there was the opening, at the presence of Mr Syed Mehdi Shah, Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan, of the exhibition Through the CKNP (Central Karakoram National Park). The exhibition was curated by Michele Locatelli and Ermes Invernizzi from the Politecnico di Milano who, for almost ten years now, are cooperating in this area with EvK2CNR and to whom we asked to present the work.

In the Gallery you can find all the panels of the exhibition: a real virtual tour to get to know the boundaries, the land, flora and fauna of the the highest park of the Earth.

How did the idea of the exhibition Through the CKNP was born?

Through the CKNP is the third in a series of exhibitions seeking to promote Central Karakoram National Park, organized by the Italian K2 Museum in Skardu. Also this one is an initiative within SEED, a project promoted by EvK2CNR and financed by the Italian and Pakistani governments within the P.I.D.S.A. Agreement. This cycle of exhibitions has the fundamental role to increase, as much as possible, the awareness of the heritage of the Park in the local population.

The first exhibition, Living in Upper Braldo Valley, organized in 2010 with Professor Eleonora Bersani of the Politecnico di Milano, was intended to tell the research on the architectural heritage of the villages of Upper Braldo Valley, studies that have led to the creation of the Askole House Museum.
The second exhibition, Go further, dates back to 2011 and focused on aspects of the historical and cultural heritage of Upper Braldo Valley. The exhibition Through the CKNP, instead, aims to describe the habitat of Central Karakoram National Park in its different naturalistic-environmental and cultural aspects.

How is the display organized?

The display is structured from a geographic framework of CKNP that highlights the land peculiarities of the area of the Park and the relationships between the eastern part of Karakoram mountains and the western Himalayas.

It continues with panels, by EvK2CNR researchers, illustrating the presence of animals in the Park (by Dr. Anna Bocci), the characteristics of the plant ecosystem (by Dr. Efrem Ferrari), a section about glaciers (by a group of researchers) and a section to deepen the cultural historical paths.

The set-up is organized according to an itinerary that turns around a suspended structure with panoramic images and representing the diversity of the environments of the Park. Moreover in the exhibition there are also some objects allowing a direct experience of what is illustrated in some panels, as some specimens of ibex and ural horns, or the trunks of the main plant species.

What characterizes the exhibition is also the presence of a gray volume with the representation of the summit of K2 with reported tracking of the line of ascent of the Italian mission that in 1954 reached its summit. Inside the volume, the winter environment of a typical Balti house is reconstructed, with objects from the Upper Braldo Valley.

It is almost ten years that you are engaged in studies and projects in the Gilgit-Baltistan region, what is your experience with this area?

We started working in Pakistan with a project to develop the villages of Upper Braldo Valley and in particular Askole. Then, our research and project activity for the SEED Project were extended to other valleys of CKNP. These places are very attractive, which constitute a natural, environmental and cultural heritage that deserve adequate protection actions. The projects that are currently in progress represent an important opportunity both to enhance the great tourism potential of the Park and to help improve the living conditions of the local population.


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