[KS] Gold leaf on the Kim Il Sung statue in the Mansudae Grand Monument?

Ruediger Frank ruediger.frank at univie.ac.at
Thu Dec 27 13:01:44 EST 2012

Perhaps one of the colleagues on this list has a clue on a more recent aspect of statuology: As you know, in April 2012 a statue of Kim Jong Il was added to the top of Mansudae Hill. Not only was the one of Kim Il Sung, standing there since 1972, moved a few steps to the left; Kim Il Sung is now also wearing glasses, a smile, and a Western suit. Any reliable information on why that has been changed? No doubt the main statue of the leader in the country is of the highest symbolic value, so not even the smallest change would happen without a purpose. So what is it that the changed appearance of the Kim Il Sung statue wants to tell the North Korean people?
All the best,
Rudiger Frank

on Mittwoch, 26. Dezember 2012 at 09:08 you wrote:

> There's a photo of the gilded Kim Il Sung statue in the North
> Korean pictorial magazine "Democratic People's Republic of Korea,"
> 12/1977. It looks quite different from the bronze version. As
> Ruediger Frank suggests, too much light reflects off the surface,
> and the statue's contrasts are lost.

> As Jim Hoare notes, the statue was erected in 1972. The gilding
> was applied in 1977, according to Helen-Louise Hunter's book
> "Kim Il Song's North Korea."

> The Chinese delegation in question visited September 8-13, 1978,
> and the gold was allegedly removed soon after, perhaps even that
> same month. (Did Chinese objections lead to the degilding? This
> has been reported but not solidly established.)

> While gilding a statue seems extravagant, gold plating is typically
> so thin that the cost of the gold itself is not necessarily prohibitive.

> Chris Springer
> "Pyongyang: The Hidden History of the North Korean Capital"
> www.hiddenhistory.info

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://koreanstudies.com/pipermail/koreanstudies_koreanstudies.com/attachments/20121227/4d9807c7/attachment.html>

More information about the Koreanstudies mailing list