Last Royal Books Return from France Friday

      May 27, 2011 13:20

      The last batch of the 296-volume "Oegyujanggak" royal archives from the Chosun Dynasty arrived in Seoul on Friday morning from France. They were looted by the French during a botched invasion of Korea in 1866.

      Mo Chul-min, the first vice minister of culture, sports and tourism, on Thursday said the fourth and last batch of 73 volumes was to arrive at Incheon International Airport at 8:40 a.m. Friday.

      The government will hold a ceremony to welcome their retrieval on June 11. They are officially on permanent loan from France's National Library. Following a traditional ritual on Ganghwa Island in the morning, a procession will carry the books from Gwanghwamun Gate, the main gate of Gyeongbok Palace, to Geunjeongjeon, the main hall of the palace, and a welcoming ceremony and performance will be held in the afternoon.

      The books will go on show in a dedicated room at the National Museum of Korea from July 19 to Sept. 18.

      "First of all, we're going to put 30 books of which we have single copies online this year so that anybody can read them," Mo said. "We're going to scan all the other texts into a database by 2013."

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