November 08, 2017 12:37
UNESCO will build its new International Center for Documentary Heritage in Korea.
The center will sit near the site in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, where the world's oldest surviving metal-printed work, the Jikji Simche Yojeol, was created.
The decision was made in a general conference at UNESCO headquarters in Paris on Monday. It had already been approved unanimously by the UNESCO Executive Board in October.
Since 1992, UNESCO has made efforts to protect documents on the Memory of the World Register from war, terrorism, natural disasters, and hacking. That means the center has to be built at a site that is considered relatively safe and stable.
The National Archives of Korea said it took a year's effort to persuade UNESCO to site the center in Korea. First of all, the archives and Cheongju city government will launch a task force after an agreement is signed by UNESCO and Seoul early next year.
Cheongju will spend W26 billion to build the center, and the National Archives subsidize the center's management with W500 million to W1 billion per year (US$1=W1,114).
The Jikji, a Buddhist text, was printed in the city's Heungdeok Temple, whose ruins were discovered in 1985. The Cheongju Early Printing Museum on the site and an annual festival are dedicated to celebrating it.
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