Nine ancient Korean seals returned from U.S. to go on display

By 정주원
  • Published : May 12, 2014 - 15:33
  • Updated : May 12, 2014 - 15:33

Nine ancient Korean seals that were returned last month after being illegally transferred to the United States during the 1950-53 Korean War will be on display at a Seoul museum starting this week, the government said Monday.

The Cultural Heritage Administration said it will hold a special exhibition of the seals at the National Palace Museum of Korea in central Seoul from May 13 to Aug. 3. 

The nine are three national seals and one royal seal of the Korean Empire and five signets of the royal court of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

Among them is the Hwangjejibo (Seal of the Emperor), a national seal made upon the establishment of the Korean Empire in 1897 by King Gojong of the Joseon Dynasty. The seal is deemed highly significant both academically and historically as it symbolizes King Gojong's will for independence.

"They are previous Korean cultural assets that symbolize the king's efforts to demonstrate worldwide the dignity of an empire and build an independent state," the office said in a statement.

The seals were seized in November by U.S. customs authorities from the family of a deceased U.S. war veteran who served in the Korean War and were repatriated during U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Seoul for talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye last month. (Yonhap)