A Unesco team has started a "rescue mission" to prevent looting of artefacts from this World Heritage Site.

The devastating earthquake that rocked Nepal on April 25, has not only led to the loss of human life, it has also damaged several unique cultural sites that have been drawing tourists for decades.

The seven-member Unesco team is assessing the damage, with priority being given to prevent looting of artefacts from the destroyed site.

"We are doing an inventory of stones and terracotta objects that have crumbled due to the earthquake. The first concern for us is to prevent the objects from looting and for this we are trying to get keys of one of the stores at the temple so that we can store these objects," David Andolfatto, Unesco consultant, told reporters.

Right now they were not thinking of restoration because for that they needed money and restoration can be done only when they had rescued the objects. At the moment, they were doing the rescue work, he added.

Swayambhunath temple, considered among the oldest religious sites in Nepal, is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus.

After completing the work here, they will head to Kathmandu's Durbar Square and Kasthamandap Temple for rescue operations.

Even though the magnificent stupa of the Swayambhunath temple is intact with only one side of it partially damaged, the curio shops, huts and religious monuments inside the complex have been destroyed in the quake that killed over 6,000 people and left over 10,000 injured and millions displaced.

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