Go to contents

Audit Uncovers Artifact Mismanagement

Posted August. 25, 2006 03:03,   


Officials confirmed that all 13 Guksae (Seals of State) from the Joseon dynasty, including the ‘Joseongukwangjiin’ have been lost.

The Board of Audit and Inspection announced on August 24 the disappearance was noted during inspections held on November to December last year at 10 cultural institutions including the Cultural Properties Administration and the National Museum of Korea.

As the official seal of the king, two types of royal seals exist, including the Guksae used in the succession of sovereign rights and documents concerning foreign policy, and the administrative seal used in domestic documents.

According to the Board of Audit and Inspection, a total of thirteen Guksae were produced in the Joseon dynasty, where the three oldest, including Joseongukwangjiin, were lost between 1971 and 1985. The time period and reason of disappearance of the remaining 10 are unknown.

Among the 26 administrative seals, 21 have been lost.

The Board of Audit and Inspection reported that the face of most of the 316 Ubo (the king and queen’s ceremonial seals used in national events) stored at the National Palace Museum of Korea had rusted, while their handles were broken.

Numerous mistakes were also found at the National Museum of Korea from lack of background research, such as the exhibition of the Bukmyobi, which commemorates China’s general Guan Yu of the Han and Shu dynasty, noting that it was a monument for the Chinese Ming dynasty’s general Zhin Lin.

A source from the Board of Audit and Inspection said, “The Cultural Properties Administration stored the royal seal and Ubo in environments that were not appropriate for storage, and they had not checked the condition of the seals,” and added, “The National Palace Museum did not even know that the ‘DaeJoseonguk Daegunjubo’ was the original of the Guksae.”

The Board also reported that a tennis court was installed illegally on the grounds of the Changdeok Palace, and an illegal cooling tower was placed in the Hwangudan located at Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, and stated that all would be removed.