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According to the article “Stolen art found in temple” (JoongAng Daily, Nov. 1), a Korean Buddhist painting, missing in Japan, was found at a temple in Daegu. The matter of whether this artwork should be returned to Japan or not is now an issue, but it is not a simple problem.
In 2002, this Goryeo Buddhist painting was stolen by a 53-year-old Korean shaman and bought and sold several times to people in Korea. The last purchaser didn’t know that it was stolen.
In addition, if this painting really originated from the Goryeo Dynasty, it was stolen by Japan also, a long time ago, so we can claim there is justice in keeping this artwork in Korea.
However, the problem of what to do with the painting isn’t so simple. This event is an international problem, so we have to consider several points together.
We cannot treat this problem only from a nationalist perspective.
Korea was pillaged by Japan in the period of Japan’s colonization, but we need to think out reasonable ways to keep this piece of art here.

by Song Ui-sook
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