Korea's cultural heritage system scheduled for a makeover
The Cultural Properties Committee and the Intangible Cultural Properties Committee submitted a written resolution to the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) on Monday to overhaul the current heritage classification system, which includes changing the official title that refers to state-designated cultural heritages from the current “Cultural Heritage” to “Korean Heritage.”
In response, the CHA said Monday that it will work to make such modifications by enacting the new, tentatively named Korean Heritage Basic Law and aim to pass the bill within this year.
The current Cultural Heritage classification system was adopted in 1962 with the enactment of the Cultural Properties Protection Law.
Currently, Korea’s heritages are classified into four major categories — Tangible Cultural Property (National Treasure and Treasure), Intangible Cultural Property, Monument (Historic Site, Scenic Site and Natural Monument) and Folklore Heritage. This classification system will also be condensed into three — Cultural Heritage, Natural Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
According to the CHA, the current system follows the system that has been used in Japan since 1950, and only Korea and Japan use the term “cultural heritage.”
“The new title ‘Korean Heritage’ will overcome the semantic limitations of the current term ‘Cultural Heritage,’ which is very narrow in its meaning,” said an official from the CHA. “‘Korean Heritage’ is an extended concept that encompasses the source assets of communities and regions as well as future heritage. The new classification system will also be consistent with Unesco’s heritage classification.”
BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [email@example.com]