Go to contents

Statue of Yu Gwan-sun to be set up at Seodaemun Independence Park

Statue of Yu Gwan-sun to be set up at Seodaemun Independence Park

Posted February. 28, 2020 07:32,   

Updated February. 28, 2020 07:32


A statue of Yu Gwan-sun, a Korean activist who cried out for the country’s independence and died in prison at the blooming age of 18, is to be set up at Seodaemun Independence Park in Seoul, previously the site of the Seodaemun Prison. It is also where she cried out Korea’s independence until the very moment of death from May 1919 to September 1920.

According to the Yu Gwan-sun memorial committee on Thursday, 3.2-meter-high statue will be set up at the park in May. Professor Kim Haeng-shin and Kim Dae-gil at the Chonnam National University participated in manufacturing the statue. Processor Kim Haeng-shin led the work as a veteran sculptor, but Professor Kim Dae-gil succeeded the job after he passed away last year.

The statue depicts Yu waving a national flag in her right hand. Her calm face shows the grim situation of the time and her will towards national independence. “Crying out for independence of my country is not a crime! You have no right to criminate me and I have no reason to be tried in your court,” says the epitaph of the statue both in Korean and English along with her biography.

The committee is accelerating the process with a plan to hold an unveiling ceremony on May 20. It is the day when she was imprisoned at the Seodaemun Prison for the first time. She was put to gruesome torture until she died on Sept. 28, 1920. Her aspiration for independence never withered even at the prison where she continued on with the independence movement.

The Seodaemun District Office has decided to cancel the commemoration event, which was planned to be held on Sunday due to the widespread COVID-19 outbreak. The Yu Gwan-sun memorial committee has skipped its annual memorial event for the first time since it started the event in 1985.

Seng-Hyun Kang byhuman@donga.com