The Cultural Heritage Administration announced Monday it has withdrawn the nomination of Korean Confucian academies, or seowon, for the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list.
The decision was made when the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), an independent international advisory body that offers technical and on-site evaluation for cultural heritage sites around the world applying for the UNESCO Cultural Heritage designation, deferred its decision to present evaluation reports on the nine Korean Confucian academies to the World Heritage Committee.
“ICOMOS required us to do more research, such as explanation for the selection of the nine academies among some 400 academies in the country and comparing them with other Confucian academies in Japan and China,” said Kim Ji-hong of the state-run CHA.
The ICOMOS last year further required the Korean government to include more areas surrounding the nine Confucian academies as UNESCO-protected sites. The advisory body’s evaluation results of the properties nominated for the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list fall into four categories -- inscription, referral, deferral and not to inscribe.
The Korean government was seeking to add nine Confucian academies to the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list at the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee in July.
Despite the withdrawal, the nine Korean Confucian academies will remain on the tentative list of UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage.
By Lee Woo-young (firstname.lastname@example.org