Biggest Show of N.Korean Artifacts Comes to Seoul

    March 28, 2006 20:32

    The only statue of a king in all of Korean sculptural history, a bronze nude of the emperor Wang Gun, the founder of the Koryo dynasty. Sculptures of kings are rare throughout East Asia.
    Over 90 cultural treasures from North Korea will be on display at the National Museum of Korea in Yongsan from the beginning of June. It will be the largest and most significant exhibition of North Korean cultural assets ever to be put on in the South and indeed anywhere outside the reclusive country.

    The director of the National Museum, Lee Kun-moo, said Tuesday he met with the head of Pyongyang's Korean Central History Museum Kim Song-hyon last Friday and finalized the loan of artifacts for the exhibition. “Everything from Stone Age artifacts to paintings from the Chosun period has been carefully chosen and brought together,” Kim said.

    The most eagerly awaited among the works is a bronze statue of the emperor Wang Gun, the founder of the ancient Koryo Kingdom (918-1392), unearthed near his tomb in Kaesong in 1993. Other items include an axe excavated in Sangwon, Pyongyang, considered by the North to be the oldest Paleolithic artifact on the peninsula, a 3,000-3,500 year-old flute made of bird's bones unearthed in North Hamgyeong Province, an A.D. 566 stele that records the construction of the Pyongyang castle walls in the Koguryo Kingdom, a large decorated roof tile from the Balhae Kingdom, a granite seated Buddha from the Kwaneum Temple in Kaesong, and a landscape painting by the celebrated Chosun-era painter Jeongseon.

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