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Exhibition for redeemed Buddhist cultural assets

Posted May. 13, 2022 07:55,   

Updated May. 13, 2022 07:55


The Buddhism Central Museum in downtown Jongno, Seoul is holding a special exhibition of “Hwanjiboncheo for the returned cultural assets” until June 12. The exhibition will showcase 32 Buddhist cultural assets that have been stolen and restored, with the title of “Hwanjiboncheo” meaning something going back to where it originally belongs.

The first part of the exhibition introduces seven cultural assets that have been recently retrieved including the Buddhist arts at Wibongsa Temple of Wanju, Daeheungsa Temple of Haenam, and Gimryongsa Temple of Mungyeong. The standing statues of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva are estimated to have been built at around 1605 before being stolen in 1989. In 1994, thieves broke into the sanctuary of the Gimgryongsa Temple to steal the Buddhist painting. The painting of the Four Directional Guardian was also stolen at that time.

The latter half offers an outline of the history of Buddhist painting during the Joseon Dynasty with various cultural properties, such as the Bronze Incense Burner with Silver-inlaid Design at Bongeunsa Temple, Hanging Scroll Behind the Buddha in Yeongguksa Temple, and the gilt-bronze Buddha statues of the Five-story Stone Pagoda at Muryangsa Temple in Buyeo, which have all been designated as national treasures.

Gab-Sik Kim dunanworld@donga.com