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Gwanghwamun Gate Plaque Will Be Left As Is, for Now

Posted April. 20, 2005 23:20,   


The CPC (Cultural Properties Committee) stopped Cultural Properties administrator Yoo Hong-joon’s plans to replace the Gwanghwamun Gate plaque, written by former President Park Jung-hee, with a new one.

On April 20, the CPC held a joint meeting of four divisions: architecture, the movable cultural properties division, the historic sites division, and the cultural properties policy division, and decided that “the place shall be replaced when the “woldae” (a wide and high flight of stairs in front of the palace) is restored to the location that it was when its gate was rebuilt in Kojong’s time” (1865, shown in picture). Therefore, the Cultural Properties Administration’s plan to replace the plaque sometime between July and August has been set back.

After the meeting, CPC Chairman Jeong Yang-mo said, “There was no dissenting opinion in replacing the plaque, but plaques are placed after buildings are completed, so overall, the majority agreed to replace it by then.”

In addition, he said, “We are trying to create a square in front of Gwanghwamun Gate so people can access Gyeongbok Palace’s Geunjeong-jeon through Gwanghwamun, and we recommended restoring not only the outer appearance of Gwanghwamun but also the gate’s inner space after doing research.”

In order to restore Gwanghwamun to the way it looked when it was rebuilt, it will have to be moved about 14.5 meters south of its current location and turned about 5.6 degrees eastward. For this to be achieved, at least 50 meters of space in front of the current gate’s location will be required.

In order to create a large park in front of Gwanghwamun Gate, the Cultural Properties Administration will discuss its plans with the city of Seoul. In addition, it plans to get rid of the straight road in front of the gate, connecting Dong-sipjagak and Sajinkdan, and create an arch-shaped road using the front parking lot of the Central Government Complex and parkland next to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. However, it will take at least two to three years for these planned changes to be finished, so in all likelihood, the plaque will be replaced by then.