August 11, 2009 07:12
The site of the historic Namdaemun or South Gate which was razed in a devastating fire last year will once again open to the public from Aug. 15, National Liberation Day.
The Cultural Heritage Administration on Monday said it will operate guided tours of the restoration site every Saturday and Sunday from Aug. 15 until the restoration is finished in 2012.
The site of the gate also known as Sungnyemun, which was set aflame by an arsonist in February 2008, was open to the public for three months from National Liberation Day of last year, and some 3,700 people visited. It was closed in November when the scaffolding was set up.
The restoration will take five years. The first phase including cleanup of the site was finished in May last year. At the moment, the second phase, which includes inspection, historical research and design, is underway.
Building work will begin in January. It will include dismantling and restoration of the gate tower, repairs of the foundation, and restoration of the castle walls on the right and left of the gate.
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