Looking for lost Culture
Looking for lost Culture
  • Reporter Choi Jong-hyeok
  • 승인 2014.06.04 13:16
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From ancient times, because most nations’ goal is unification of the world, war is a frequent situation. In a war, the winner takes cultural properties as compensation and for source of pride. For example, the United Kingdom and France display most of Egypt’s cultural properties in their own museums, the British Museum and Louvre Museum. This is not only true about Egypt, but also about us, Korea. Our cultural properties have been taken by France, Japan and other nations during the invasion. Cultural properties have meaning when they belong to their own country. People who know the significance of these properties strive to take them back. Korea’s efforts to regain cultural property abroad include returning properties by Monk Hye Moon, Pillaged Cultural Properties Restoring Movement, Korea Green Culture Promotion, etc.. The Pillaged Cultural Properties Restoring Movement is the easiest way to acquire information and history about these efforts.
The mindset behind these movements is, “As all of the things have their own basis, cultural properties are our potential and honor.” With this determination, they strive to restore our own cultural properties. Now these organizations are mostly surveying the pillaged cultural properties. Japan has almost 34,000 Korean cultural properties. Most of them were stolen during the colonial administration of imperial Japan. About 150,000 other cultural properties are spread throughout roughly over 20 other countries. Unfortunately, if we consider individual possession, roughly one million cultural properties are outside of Korea.
The Pillaged Cultural Properties Restoring Movement works both online and offline to restore these products to Korea. Online, they set up website to promote the need of returning the cultural properties. They rally the participation of netizens and engage in cyber picketing. This (hopefully) stimulates the press of countries and the conscientious educated people. This is not just for people in other countries; awareness of this problem must be increased within Korea as well. The same works are carried out offline. Organizations hold movements that lead people, civic groups, and the press to participate in these efforts.
The movements have not been in vain. About 3,500 cultural properties have been returned to Korea from France, Japan, the United States, and New Zealand since 2003. These cultural properties include 135 meaningful things that Derawoochi, a prime minister during the Japanese colonial era, had possessed.
 Cultural properties contain a nation’s values, wisdom, history, etc. As they are meaning, most countries try to restore them. The Pillaged Cultural Properties Restoring Movement is one of the efforts to restore them. In honor of our ancestors’ values and as future leaders of Korea, Postechians need to be aware of this.