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‘Earthen Fortification should be preserved by convincing residents’

‘Earthen Fortification should be preserved by convincing residents’

Posted July. 20, 2023 08:05,   

Updated July. 20, 2023 08:05


“When the local community accepts the value of preserving a historic site, it finally becomes a cultural heritage that we protect together. That is the responsibility of archeologists to gain such a shared understanding,” said Director-General of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property Webber Ndoro after visiting the Earthen Fortification in Pungnap-dong in Songpa-gu, Seoul on Wednesday.

The Earthen Fortification in Pungnap-dong is a 2.1-kilometer-long earthen fortification with an oval shape. Scholars believe it could have been Wiryeseong, the royal palace in the early Baekje kingdom. However, there are conflicts surrounding its preservation and development in the area. The members of the apartment redevelopment association damaged part of the excavation site in the Gyeongdang district with an excavator in 2000. In March this year, the Songpa-gu district office filed a claim on adjudication on jurisdiction disputes to the Constitutional Court regarding the Cultural Heritage Administration’s notice on the designation of the Earthen Fortification in Pungnap-dong as a preservation and management area. The district office argued that regulations on redevelopment and reconstruction to preserve cultural assets violate the property rights of residents.

The Cultural Heritage Administration invited Director-General Ndoro and Professor of Archaeology Fikri Kulakoglu Ankara University and listened to their advice. “An approach that involves the local community from the excavation stage is needed,” the director-general said. “Allowing development after pre-excavation to the extent that it does not hurt the landscape can enable sustainable preservation of historic sites and local development at the same time,” Professor Kulakoglu said.