Did you remember ‘The great tradition 74434’ corner included in MBC ‘Exclamation Mark:!’ in last 2007? This corner was mainly talked about returning our looted cultural traditions from abroad. Actually, this program was success to return part of them. The corner name 74434 means that the number of outflow our cultural traditions in abroad. But, now a total of them that we need to charge back is more than 10 million pieces.
So what is the reason that the outflow traditions rate in abroad is higher than finishing TV programs? Through this program, people interested in our outflow traditions, so investigation about this were animated. By this reason, the rate of outflow traditions is higher than that time. But it means that we are indifferent to our cultural traditions. We have to return our traditions, because there are lots of points to learn and succeed through them. And our traditions represent our history and culture during the last centuries, so we must recover our cultural traditions. Recovering a cultural tradition is very important because this action have a lot of meanings for people living in now and korea and our descendants.
Back in 1993, French president Franois Mitterrand engaged in competition with Japan and German for the bid KTX in Korea with one of the Korean cultural assets,
‘Hwigyeongwon Wonso Dogam in Kyujanggak,’ by this reason we made an agreement with France. So how much was it worth even signed by top leaders of countries? Oekyujanggak was an adjunct of the main library called Kyujanggak used to have kept the books about loyal family. In Byeongin War, the books in
Oekyujanggak plundered by French forces that attacked Kanghwa-do, by this happening, about 279 books are kept in French national library. They do not give all of them what they promise to give us. So how do we deal with this? At first, it is no wonder that we should get back our own traditions. But, we don’t react emotionally. Because it have to get solved between nation and nation. So it is necessary to approach this by controlling ourselves in order to take them back and research the comprehensive real condition on our cultural traditions. It is also important to build cooperative system with private-oriented organs and public
institution and academic circles along with continuous persuasion.
One way to regain our lost traditions, as we’re talking on, is the foreign
relations between nations. But it still takes much time and even it is hard to find the key to the solution. Thus, the alternative to this solution can be the participations of religious groups or private organizations. Meanwhile it is also good way for individual or government to approach the individual-owned traditions by strategically. These are easy to come to donation with continuous
persuasion. Examples are the Delawoochi Library of the Yamaguchi Women University in Japan donated ‘A great monument of Book-Kwan’ to Kyungnam University and Jeong-Hee Kim’s works were donated by Prof. Kinaoh.
Another way to regain is buying them through an auction market and in-and-out flow market on cultural assets. China has actively been engaged in purchasing Chinese lost antiques through the international auction after instituting overseas fund. However, in Korea, 10 billion won is shoved aside budget of purchasing our cultural assets per a year. Of course, the 10 billion won is considerable expense. But, Gyeom-Jae’s painting work, ‘Nosongyoungji’ which was exported overseas, sold for 740 million won and ‘An inlaid celadon’ was sold for 1.09 billion won in 2004. As you see, 10 billion won is never a lot of money in this situation. By the way, what examples are there that has returned to homeland? In overseas cases, Greenland became independent from Denmark in 1953. After independent, greenland has regained nearly 3.5 thousands pieces of cultural tradition from Denmark from 1984 to 2001. Committees of both sides of museum and intimately built cooperation led their business of restitution to success. And Denmark government respected Greenland’s stance that had demanded returning their priceless losses to homeland.
Why we have lots troubles recover our cultural traditions? The main reason
is that we only dependent our government and civic groups. Now we cares deeply about our cultural treasure. Unfortunately we can’t realize that serious of our outflow cultural tradition, soul and our emotion. Because the most important is not only governments effort but also people interests in our cultural tradition. How do dankookians think this problem?
In-Yong Jun, Doo-Ri Lee email@example.com