January 22, 2019 11:26
Seoul city officials on Monday unveiled a final blueprint for the face-lift of Gwanghwamun Plaza in downtown Seoul.
The plan is to move the statues of Admiral Yi Sun-shin and King Sejong, and add plaques commemorating the candlelight protests that forced former President Park Geun-hye out of office.
The new design is the work of four architects. The statue of Admiral Yi, who defeated a Japanese naval invasion in the 16th century, and King Sejong, who invented the Korean alphabet, will be relocated 400 m northwest and 100 m west.
Jin Yang-kyo, the chief architect, said, "The center of the plaza will be left empty to symbolize the axis of history while the heroes look on from the sidelines."
The city will spend W104 billion on the face-lift, while W700 million was spent on the designs (US$1=W1,131).
The plan drew criticism right away for being politically biased by celebrating the candlelight protests that brought the current government to power. The city government promised to gather public opinion before making the final decision.
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