France set to return first of Korea’s royal books

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France set to return first of Korea’s royal books

The first batch of a collection of Korea’s old royal protocols currently held at the National Library of France will arrive in Korea on April 14, a source told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday.

The source said around 70 books, one fourth of the volumes promised to be returned, will arrive first with more volumes expected later.

It was expected that the 296 volumes of the Oegyujanggak would be returned sometime from late March to mid-April, but the official day had yet to be disclosed.

“The first of the books will arrive on an Asiana Airlines airplane on April 14 in the afternoon,” said the source, adding that the other volumes will arrive in three batches by the end of next month.

The source said the French side is speeding up the return process so that at least half of the books are returned to Korea before President Lee Myung-bak embarks on a visit to France on May 12.

A total of 297 volumes of the royal protocols were taken in 1866 by the French Navy from the Joseon Dynasty’s royal library on Ganghwa Island, west of Seoul.

One Oegyujanggak book was returned in 1993 by French President Francois Mitterand.

During the G-20 Summit in November, Sarkozy pledged to Lee he would return the remaining collection of royal protocols on an indefinitely renewable lease, a move followed up by an agreement between the national museums of Korea and France in March.

By Lee Sang-eon, Moon Gwang-lip []

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

프랑스 외규장각 도서 70여권 14일 온다

내달까지 296권 모두 귀환

병인양요(1866년) 때 프랑스가 약탈해간 외규장각 도서 296권의 약 4분의 1이 14일 한국에 온다. 한국 정부 관계자는 5일 “외규장각 도서를 네 차례에 나눠 수송하기로 했으며, 현재의 계획대로라면 그중 첫째는 13일 저녁(현지시간) 프랑스에서 항공기에 실려 한국 시간으로 14일에 도착한다”고 말했다.

이 관계자는 “이달 중 한 차례 더 수송이 이뤄지며 다음달 말까지 귀환이 완료될 예정”이라고 덧붙였다. 14일 도착하는 도서들은 아시아나 여객기(OZ 502편) 편으로 운송된다. 사르코지 프랑스 대통령은 지난해 11월 이명박 대통령에게 이 도서를 5년마다 임대 계약을 갱신하는 조건으로 대여를 약속했다. 양국은 다음달 중순 이 대통령 프랑스 방문 전에 이 합의 성과를 드러내기 위해 대여 작업을 서둘러왔다.

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