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Kim Gu’s commemoration speech for Ryu Gwan-soon is restored

Kim Gu’s commemoration speech for Ryu Gwan-soon is restored

Posted April. 01, 2021 07:28,   

Updated April. 01, 2021 07:28


Kim Gu’s handwritten commemoration of the death of Korean independent activist Ryu Gwan-soon as a ‘sacred death’ has been restored and open to the public.

The National Archives of Korea announced on Wednesday that it had successfully restored 99 pages of four rare records related to Ryu Gwan-soon, in commemoration of the Aunae Independence Movement; which was held on April 1, 1919. Ryu was sentenced to jail on charges of leading the Aunae Independence Movement. She was imprisoned at the Seodaemun prison and passed away on Sept. 28, 1920 from torture and beatings.  

Recent records include three commemoration speeches dedicated to the unveiling ceremony of the monument for Aunae Independence Movement held at Gumi Mountain, Byeongcheon myeon of Cheonan on Nov. 27, 1947. “Ryu’s sacred death shines like the sun and moon, her great achievements are everlasting. Let us look up to the spirit of independence and move forward to achieve full independence,” wrote Kim in his commemoration speech.  

The commemoration speech of Oh Chun-seok, the Minister of Culture and Education under U.S. trusteeship was also restored. He referred Ryu as “Sacred leader of the people” and “strong and courageous warrior”.  

Ninety pages of Ryu’s historical items, which had been put together by Ryu Je-man, Ryu’s nephew, in the late 1940s. This includes biographical writings, records of the patriots, and the script of the film “Ryu Gwan-soon”. Photographs of the childhood years of Ryu Yedo, the older cousin of Ryu who had also participated in the independence movement, were also restored and disclosed to the public.  

The recent work had been carried out at the request of Memorial for Ryu Gwan-soon, which was made to the National Archives in May last year. Since 2018, the National Archives has been supporting the restoration of damaged civil and public archives. So far, 7,064 pages at 59 institutions have been restored.  

Kim’s handwritten script of the commemoration speech will be on public display at the Memorial for Ryu Gwan-soon on Thursday. Other restored archives will be disclosed on e-museam (www.emuseam.go.kr) , the search site for museum collections nationwide.  

“We will continue to do our best to safely and permanently restore key national archives,” said Seo Jeong-uk, head of the the Restoration Service Team at the National Archives.

Chang-Kyu Park kyu@donga.com