Royal books from France to be delayed to mid-April

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Royal books from France to be delayed to mid-April

The first shipment of Korea’s centuries-old looted royal books will arrive in Seoul from Paris after April 11, a little behind schedule as agreed upon by both sides, an official at Korea’s national museum said Monday.

Officials from the national museums of the two countries signed the agreement in Paris earlier this month to transport 297 volumes of the Oegyujanggak to Seoul in four shipments beginning March 28, following French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pledge in November to return the collection of royal protocols on a renewable lease.

“The detailed date has not yet been fixed but the first batch will arrive here after April 11,” said an official at the National Museum of Korea. “Korean flag carriers will transport the books in four installments and we will pay the insurance fee.”

He noted that the government has not yet decided which air carrier will take part in the transport of the first shipment.

The royal documents of the Joseon Dynasty were looted by French troops in 1866 when they invaded a Korean island in retaliation against the persecution of French Catholic missionaries by Koreans.

Korea has long sought to retrieve the books that dictate the protocols of royal ceremonies and rites. One of the books was returned to Korea on a permanent lease basis in 1993 by then French President Francois Mitterrand, but hundreds of other volumes have remained in France. According to Seoul’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the books will be transferred from the National Library of France to Seoul’s National Museum of Korea before the end of May.


한글 관련 기사 [연합]
외규장각 도서 반환, 내달 11일 이후 가능

프랑스가 반환하기로 한 외규장각 도서가 당초 일정보다 다소 늦은 다음 달 11일 이후에야 국내에 들어올 것으로 보인다.

국립중앙박물관 관계자는 "구체적인 반환 일자는 아직 확정된 바 없지만 첫 번째 반환분이 다음 달 11일 이후 들어오는 것만은 확실하다"고 28일 말했다.

이 관계자는 "우리 국적 항공편을 이용해 4차례 반환하며 그에 따른 보험료는 우리측이 부담하게 된다"고 덧붙였다. 그는 이어 "첫 번째 반환에 어느 항공사를 이용할지는 정해지지 않았다"고 말했다.

국립중앙박물관은 지난 16일 프랑스 파리에서 외규장각 도서 소장기관인 프랑스 국립도서관과 외규장각 도서 환수를 위한 약정에 서명하고 빠르면 이달 중 첫번째 반환이 이뤄질 것이라고 밝힌 바 있다.
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