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Ancient Seoul gate set to be restored

The ancient gate "Doneuimun," which was removed in 1915 during the Japanese colonial occupation, will be rebuilt in central Seoul by 2013, Seoul Metropolitan Government said yesterday.
The landmark gate, also known as Seodaemun, is one of the four major ancient gates in Seoul. The city plans to rebuild the gate, which will measure 12 meters in width and 12 meters in height, based on thorough historical research with experts and scholars.
The city also plans to build a 16,666-square-meter "historical and cultural" park around the gate to provide citizens with another spot for leisure activities.
The city plans to refurbish the areas near the four gates and make special zones - a "performance and arts zone" near Doneuimun, a "fashion zone" near Heunginjimun, a "festival zone" near Sungnyemun and a "prospect zone" near Sukjeongmun.
The city also plans to restore seven sections (2,175 meters) of the fortress wall of Seoul, which stretches from Mount Bukak, Mount Naksan, Mount Namsan and Mount Inwang, by 2013. The fortress wall was built during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) to safeguard the capital from invasions.
When the restoration work on Doneuimun and the fortress wall is competed in 2013, the city plans to seek the registering of the fortress wall on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
"With the restoration of Doneuimun, we will have all four ancient gates that are key relics of the fortress wall," Kwon Hyeok-so, a senior official in the city`s culture division.
"Seoul`s unique cultural completiveness will be further strengthened with the revival of the fortress wall, which is one of the city`s representative historic symbols."

By Song Sang-ho