South Korea to Fund Conservation of North Korean Cultural Properties

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South Korea to Fund Conservation of North Korean Cultural Properties

"Japanese government is considering to support the conservation of cultural properties in North Korea including the mural in the old tombs from Koguryo dynasty. However, the government has never determined the amount of support, nor carry out any measures," said a source from Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Cultural Affairs Department on August 16. The source, in charge of the international cultural exchanges, denied the report of Japanese press that Japanese government would financially support the conservation project of North Korean cultural properties.

It was an official explanation on the numbers of press report in Japan, in which the government would provide 6 to 10 million yen of financial support, since the agreement made with former Prime Minister Murayama at his visit to North Korea in December 1999. At the past meeting, former Japanese Prime Minister agreed to jointly carry out actions to registerKoguryo tombs as the World Heritage.

Sankei Shimbun of Japan reported on August 15 that Japanese and South Korean governments decided to jointly support $100,000 to North Korea through United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in order to enlist mural in the tombs of Koguryo dynasty as the World Heritage.

South Korean Cultural Properties Administration, which has already obtained $100,000 of budget this year to support North Korea announced that "$100,000 of financial support is solely raised by South Korean government," regarding Sankei Shinbum's report. "Japanese government is also contributing efforts to conserve North Korean cultural treasures. However, this project to provide financial aid to North Korea has been carried out by South Korean government only."

Currently, Japanese government is reviewing the plan to support North Korea by providing equipment, such as buses and video cameras, which had been requested to UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Ikuo Hirayama in order to accommodate research teams of the tombs, before listing the site as World Heritage. Japanese government seriously considers to support the project, in which North Korea would jointly transport the necessary materials to arrange and clean up the areas near the tombs and film the condition of the site in order to conserve the murals in tombs from Koguryo dynasty.

Park So-yong olive@joongang.co.kr



cu, South Korea to Fund Conservation of North Korean Cultural Properties

"The Japanese government plans to support the conservation of cultural properties in North Korea including the murals in the tombs from the Koguryo dynasty. However, the government has not stated the amount of support nor taken any other measures," said a source from the Japanese Ministry of the Foreign Cultural Affairs Department on August 16. The source, in charge of the international cultural exchanges, denied the press reports that the Japanese government would financially support the conservation project of North Korean cultural properties.

In Japanese press reports, it stated that the government would provide 6 to 10 million yen of financial support to the project. This agreement was apparently made at Prime Minister Murayama's visit to North Korea in December 1999. At an earlier visit, the former Japanese Prime Minister also agreed to jointly carryout actions to register Koguryo tombs as a World Heritage.

Sankei Shimbun of Japan reported on August 15 that Japanese and South Korean governments decided to jointly contribut $100,000 to North Korea through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the project.

In responds to Sankei Shinbum's report, the South Korean Cultural Properties Administration, which has already obtained a $100,000 budget this year to support North Korea announced that "$100,000 of financial support was solely raised by the South Korean government. The Japanese government is also contributing efforts to conserve North Korean cultural treasures. However, this project is currently supported solely by the South Korean government."

Currently, the Japanese government is reviewing its plan to support North Korea by providing equipment, such as buses and video cameras, which were requested by UNESCO's Goodwill Ambassador Ikuo Hirayama. The Japanese government plans to support the project in which North Korea would jointly transport the necessary materials to arrange and clean-up the areas near the tombs and document the condition of the site in order to conserve the murals in the tombs of the Koguryo dynasty.

by Park So-yong

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