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Korean heritage sites gear up for this year's World Heritage FestivalBy Kim Hae-yeon
Published : June 21, 2023 - 15:02
The 2023 World Heritage Festival is to take place in eight cities from July to October, the Cultural Heritage Administration announced Wednesday during a press conference held at Korea House in Jung-gu, Seoul.
The festival, which began in 2020, aims to invite people to explore the UNESCO world heritage sites in Korea and engage in various programs, including performances, activities and exhibitions that help visitors understand the sites' values and significance.
Organized by the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation, this year's festival will take place in Gongju and Buyeo in South Chungcheong Province, Iksan in North Jeolla Province, Suncheon in South Jeolla Province, Suwon in Gyeonggi Province and Jeju Island.
Suncheon will be joining the festival for the first time after Korean tidal flats, called “getbol,” was inscribed in the UNESCO's World Natural Heritage list in 2021.
The festival will kick off July 7 in the Baekje Historic Areas -- Gongju, Buyeo and Iksan -- under the theme “Engraving Baekje’s Values.” An opening ceremony will be held at Gongsanseong Fortress in Gongju.
From July 7 to July 23, a series of programs will be held at sites across the three cities including the Gongsanseong Fortress and the Tomb of King Muryeong in Gongju, Jeongnimsa Temple Site and Naseong in Buyeo and the Mireuksa Temple Site and the Wanggung-ri archaeological site in Iksan.
As a prelude event to the festival, “International Sculpture Symposium on Baekje World Heritage” will showcase artworks of 12 artists from 12 countries under the theme of Baekjae on the site where Jeongnimsa is located, from Friday to July 6.
The festival will feature a diverse array of activities from participating cities, including media art shows, nonverbal performances, camping programs and nighttime walking tours.
Walking tours will take place along the getbol paths of Suncheon in August, along with a mind healing program from Aug. 5-31.
As part of Suwon City's initiative to raise climate change awareness, an educational program will be held at Jangan Park between Sept. 23 to Oct. 14. Titled “The Guardians of Suwon Hwaseong,” the program will exhibit historical records and proposals for the fortress' environmental sustainability, along with a pop-up market called "Peace and Harmony Market" that explores waste reduction.
Jeju Island will host a festival from Oct. 3-8 under the theme “Coexistence: Living with Heritage." Marking the festival’s fourth anniversary, Jeju residents will organize two walking tours and a village tour program.
A detailed schedule and event updates can be found at the World Heritage Festival's official website.
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