December 24, 2010 12:16
After a thorough face-lift, the statue of Admiral Yi Sun-shin is back on its podium in Gwanghwamun Plaza in downtown Seoul.
Following six hours of hoisting and unwrapping, the rejuvenated statue was unveiled to the public at 7 a.m. on Thursday to greet the day's morning commuters.
The 42-year-old bronze statue had holes and uneven surfaces from daily wear and tear, and the inner skeleton had to be fortified to withstand strong winds and external shocks.
The statue was taken down last month and sent to a factory in Gyeonggi province to be worked on. Meanwhile, the empty podium had an amusing sign that said "changing room occupied" which attracted people's attention and raised their anticipation for Admiral Yi's return.
Experts debated the statue's color during the restoration, with some favoring the original bronze look while others preferred the weathered deep green hue it had taken on. The solution was to go halfway.
Admiral Yi is remembered for defending Korea against Japanese invaders in the late 16th century using then state-of-the-art turtle ships and advanced war strategies.
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