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Reward Offered for Lost National Seal

Posted November. 28, 2005 05:44,   


The government plans to offer a reward for information leading to the recovery of the missing National Seal Number One.

A National Archives and Records Service official said, “We waited for reports to find the missing national seal, but since we had no results, we plan to acquire budget money to restore the national seal, and then put up a reward of a few million won for the missing seal.”

The plan is to give the reward money to one who knows where the national seal is, or who possesses photos or records that describe what the seal looks like. The Archives Service is also looking for a person who has actually used the seal from August 1948, when the Korean government was established, until December 31, 1962.

The reason a reward is being offered is because as of now, not even the basic the shape of the seal is known.

The Archives Service originally planned to restore the national seal with a dragon handle, ignoring a 1958 picture taken by the Ministry of Culture and Public Relations that shows a Sapsal dog shaped handle.

It was difficult for the service to accept the fact that a dog was the handle for the national seal, which represents the Republic of Korea. Among the remaining articles of deceased national seal maker Chung Ki-ho blueprints show the seal with a dragon handle.

However, Academy of Korean Studies, Korean National Issue Research Center chief researcher Dr. Sohn Hwan-il and other experts raised the issue that the animal in the national seal picture is not a dog but a fictional animal, and that the seal in the picture might actually be genuine.

In order to find people who actually took care of the national seal, the Archives Service is searching through 15 years of personnel records from the Ministry of Government Administration.

Jong-Dae Ha orionha@donga.com