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23 % of 7,393 cultural artifacts need repairs

Posted August. 08, 2014 05:21,   


The Muryangsujeon at Buseok Buddhist Temple, which boasts even more grandeur from its entasis columns, is a Grade 1 cultural asset designated National Treasure No. 18 as a Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) Buddhist temple, but its columns have been damaged and the building leaks water here and there. As a result, the wooden mesh of the roof has already corroded and the roof bracket system has cracked. Problems was revealed as it underwent structural diagnostics six years ago but follow-up measures are still shoddy.

Upon a survey on some 7,393 cultural artifacts by the Cultural Heritage Administration, 22.8 percent (1,683 items) have structural damage or need immediate repairs. The agency has categorized the artifacts surveyed from A (good quality) to F (immediate repairs needed) depending on the degree of their damage and management status. The Muryangsujeon was graded E (the fifth lowest among the grades, requiring repairs and maintenance).

Prior to that, upon the controversy of shoddy restoration of the Sungnyemun Gate in downtown Seoul emerging, the Cultural Heritage Administration has conducted monitoring of 47 locations where relics are kept, with local governments from December 2013 to May 2014. Surveyed were designated cultural assets, Buddhist temples, Confucian Academies, and other significant assets.

Cultural assets graded D, E, and F due to faults numbered 1,683. Among them, ranked D (Periodic and regular monitoring) numbered 183 cases (2.5 percent), while those ranked E (needing repairs and maintenance) numbered 1,413 (19.1 percent) and those ranked F (needing immediate repairs) numbered 87 (1.2 percent). Among those ranked F there are no National Treasures but 10 treasures including the Seated Stone Buddha of Ganwolsa Temple Site in Ulju County, in the southeastern Korean city of Ulsan. Aside from them, 128 cultural artifacts including the Hwangudan (Historic Site No. 157) were not equipped with adequate firefighting facilities, making it difficult to take measures in the event of a fire.