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Reduced to piles of rubble and splintered wood, Nepal's rich cultural heritage has suffered a devastating blow from a massive earthquake that tore through the country, experts said Sunday. In the heart of Kathmandu, many of a cluster of temples and statues built between the 12th and 18th centuries by the ancient kings of Nepal have collapsed, killing scores and trapping others underneath. The nine-storey Dharahara tower, a major tourist attraction in the city's Durbar square with its spiral staircase of 200 steps, was reduced to just its base when the 7.8-magnitude quake struck at lunchtime on Saturday. "I had just bought tickets to climb the tower and was at its base when I felt a sudden shaking," Dharmu Subedi, 36, said from a hospital bed in Kathmandu.