|A relief donated to the Yi Jun Peace Museum by actress Song Hye-kyo and Korea PR expert Seo Kyoung-duk (Yonhap News)|
The Yi Jun Peace Museum was converted from a hotel once patroned by Yi Jun and two other Korean secret emissaries, Yi Sang-sol and Yi Wi-jong, when they came to denounce the Japanese invasion of Korea at the Second Hague Peace Conference in 1907. They died on July 14 of the same year.
The relief is a copperplate reproduction of the photo of the three envoys on the front page of Courrier de la Conference, a newsletter of the Hague conference.
It is 170 centimeters by 120 cm, and will be hung at the center of the museum on Aug. 15 to mark Korea’s independence day.
“The decision to donate a relief of the three patriots was made after discussing what is needed for the museum with Lee Kee-hang and his wife Song Chang-ju, the Korean couple who founded the museum and manage it,” Seo told local news media. Seo is a professor at Sungshin Women’s University who has actively promoted Korea overseas on many issues including Dokdo and comfort women.
The Yi trio was delegated by Korean Emperor Gojong to attend the conference and announce to the international community that Korea was an independent state and the Japanese invasion was unlawful. They were not officially invited, as Japan convinced the other delegates not to let Korea participate.
A few days after Yi protested the decision, he was found dead at the hotel. His cause of death is unknown, but in South Korea it is assumed that he committed suicide as the mission had failed. However, the three Koreans succeeded in receiving worldwide attention due to a press conference and independent newspaper that covered the Peace Conference.
By Chun Sung-woo (email@example.com)