SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s culture minister on Thursday welcomed the return of ancient Korean royal books from France, 145 years after they were looted during an invasion of a small island west of Seoul.
Following the arrival of the 75 volumes of the looted “Oegyujanggak” books earlier in the day, Minister Choung Byoung-gug said the return is expected to help bring South Korea and France closer together.
“It’s been a long and difficult process to retrieve Oegyujanggak,” Choung said at a press conference at the National Museum of Korea, which will store the books. “There were large differences in legal systems and public sentiments in South Korea and France. But the return of the Oegyujanggak books was possible thanks to the political determination of the two heads of state to open a new future between the two countries.”