[KS] National Museum of Korea during war

PEB peb at ircltd.com
Mon Oct 1 01:47:50 EDT 2007

TO: Hans Kim


Further to your question about how Korean arts currently displayed at the
National Museum of Korea were preserved during the Korean war, please note
the following.


Much of the current collection now on display was not yet present in the
Museum in 1950. Much of today’s large collection was assembled during the
last 35 years. In 1945 the largest museum in Seoul in 1945 was the
조선총독부 박물관 which served as the foundation for the National Museum of
Korea. During the Korean War the museum’s personnel packaged up the
collection for safe-keeping to prevent it being looted and transported to
North Korea. (See citation below.)


You first need to read the history of how the National Museum of Korea
started and how the collection was put together during the early years. May
I suggest that you use “Google Korea” and enter “중앙국립박물관의역사”
to find the basic facts of the museum during the period of 1945 - 1950 and
the war years of 1950-1953. --- Two sites giving initial basic information
are: http://www.koreandb.net/dictionaries/Viewframe.aspx?id=5024
<http://www.koreandb.net/dictionaries/Viewframe.aspx?id=5024&ser=2> &ser=2 -
-- and http://www.donga.com/fbin/output?f=jvs
&code=jv_&n=200510260132 -- In the latter site (donga.com) note the
following description of the protection of the museum’s cultural treasures
by museum personnel to protect them from looting by the North Korean


“….6·25전쟁 때 국립박물관의 문화재를 북한에 몽땅 내줄 뻔했다. 서울을
점령한 북한은 더글러스 맥아더 장군의 인천상륙작전으로 서울에서 밀려나게
되자 국립박물관의 유물을 북으로 가져가려 했다. 국립박물관 직원들은
‘지연작전’을 벌였다. 문화재를 최대한 천천히 포장하고 ‘크기와 내용을
기록하는 일을 빠뜨렸다’며 포장을 다시 푸는 식으로 시간을 끈 것이다.
북한군은 시간에 쫓기자 문화재 반출을 포기하고 도망쳤다.”


There are many more sites that come up on the Google Korea search engine
giving information that could be useful to you on this subject.


Sincerely yours,

Peter Bartholomew

Royal Asiatic Society-Korea Branch

peb at ircltd.com

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://koreanstudies.com/pipermail/koreanstudies_koreanstudies.com/attachments/20071001/9d09fe74/attachment.html>

More information about the Koreanstudies mailing list