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Seoul City to return crematorium remnants to bereaved families

Seoul City said Wednesday its city-run crematoriums will collect and return remnants from the incinerated remains of the deceased, such as melted gold teeth, upon the bereaved families’ requests.

According to the civil law, remnants from the incinerated body at crematoriums belong to the bereaved families.

But only a few families ask for the remnants since only a small amount of gold comes from the incineration, one of the city-run crematoriums Seung Hwa Won said. 

Other than gold, dentures on artificial teeth and nails used on the coffin are commonly collected.

Seoul City said that it has collected 700 grams of pure gold during 2015 April to 2016 January from its two operating crematoriums and sold it for 28 million won ($23,300) in January. It also sold 70 kg of nails and added it to an extra budget. 

According to the government data in 2014, 8 in 10 South Koreans opt for cremation over burial. The number of charnel houses which stores cinerary urns also went up to 381 in 2014 from 100 in 2000.

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)
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