Ancient seal likely stolen, official says

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Ancient seal likely stolen, official says

LOS ANGELES - South Korean officials say a 16th century royal seal in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) may have been stolen out of a shrine in Seoul during the 1950-1953 Korean War.

An official of the heritage administration said that South Korea in May asked the United States to investigate how the gilt bronze seal ended up at LACMA in 2000. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said U.S. officials confiscated the seal.

Korea has long suspected that similar signets from the Joseon Dynasty that went missing after the war were likely stolen by American soldiers.

In a statement, LACMA said there was “credible evidence’’ that the seal was “removed unlawfully.’’


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