UNESCO Recognizes Korean Heritage

06-15-2007 17:40
By Seo Dong-shin
Staff Reporter

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listed two more sets of Korea's historical documents in the Memory of the World Register.

The decision came during a five-day meting of the UNESCO International Advisory Committee held from June 11 to 15 in Pretoria, South Africa.

The Korean items to become a part of the Memory of World Register include Euigyue, or the royal archive of the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), which documents and illustrates how various royal formalities and ceremonies are carried out.

The archive, preserved by Seoul National University's Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies and the Academy of Korean Studies' Jangseogak, was acknowledged as the only such documents existing of Confucian culture.

The Tripitaka Koreana and other woodblocks preserved inside Haeinsa Temple in Hapcheon, South Gyeongsang Province are also on UNESCOs list. The Tripitaka Koreana, woodblocks used for printing Buddhist scriptures from the Goryeo Kingdom period (918-1392), is National Treasure No.32.

They are the world's only existing woodblocks that bear Buddhist teachings in Chinese characters and are recognized by UNESCO for their role in spreading Buddhism across the Chinese-speaking region.

UNESCO's Memory of the World program aims at preserving and promoting fragile documentary heritage of humanity around the world. The inter-governmental organizations support the technology and finance necessary for preservation.

Korea already has four registered items in Memory of the World: the Hunmin Jongum manuscript; the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty; Seungjeongwon Ilgi, or the Diaries of the Royal Secretariat; and Buljo jikji simche yojeol, or the second volume of ``Anthology of Great Buddhist Priests' Zen Teachings.''

Among about 120 items from 59 countries on the list of UNESCO's Memory of World Register, Austria and Germany have the largest number, each with nine items.

(writer : admin, date : August 24, 2007)  
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