Four Korean temples recommended to Unesco list

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Four Korean temples recommended to Unesco list


Unesco’s preliminary review panel recommended four Korean temples to the Unesco World Heritage list. They included Beopjusa in Boeun, North Chungcheong, left, and Buseoksa in Yeongju, South Chungcheong, right. [CULTURAL HERITAGE ADMINISTRATION]

A Unesco preliminary review panel decided to recommend adding four Korean temples to the world’s cultural heritage list on Friday.

The Cultural Heritage Administration announced Friday evening that it has received confirmation from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (Icomos) that four Korean temples among seven that were submitted last January have been recommended to the Unesco World Heritage Centre.

The four temples are Tongdosa in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang; Buseoksa in Yeongju, South Chungcheong; Beopjusa in Boeun, North Chungcheong; and Daeheungsa in Haenam, South Jeolla.

The listing of the sites will be officially discussed at a meeting of the 42nd Unesco’s Intergovernmental Committee, which will be held from June 24 to July 4 in Bahrain.

According to the Cultural Heritage Administration, Icomos acknowledged the four temples for their “outstanding universal value” in upholding Korea’s Buddhist tradition since the 7th century and that each is considered a “comprehensive monastery.”

Each temple will have its heritage and integrity authenticated by Unesco and will create preservation and management plans that coincide with the organization’s requirements, said CHA.

Meanwhile, Icomos judged the other three temples unfit to be inscribed, reasoning that Magoksa in Gongju, South Chungcheong, and Seonamsa in Suncheon, South Jeolla, lack historical value while the size of Bongjeongsa in Andong, North Gyeongsang, was relatively smaller than the other temples.

Icomos advised CHA that the temples should come up with measures for dealing with an increased number of visitors as well as maintenance plans, and also recommended that they consult with the Unesco World Heritage Centre when they decide to establish new buildings inside the temples.

Although three of the temples were excluded from Icomos’ recommendation, CHA said that it will submit supplementary information in the hopes that all seven temples can get inscribed on the Unesco’s World Heritage List in June.

At last year’s Intergovernmental Committee, Japan succeeded in persuading the Intergovernmental Committee that all eight sites it had initially submitted get inscribed on the list. Icomos had recommended only four of them.

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