The Museum am Rothenbaum in Hamburg, Germany, will return a pair of Joseon era stone statues to South Korea, the Overseas Cultural Heritage Foundation announced Thursday.
The two statues will be returned on March 19. Estimated to have been produced in the late 16th or early 17th century, the statues were initially believed to have been shipped to Germany after a German national acquired them from a local antique shop in Seoul in 1983. The museum purchased the pair in 1987.
A pair of stone statues of civil officials from the Joseon era (OCHF)
However, the Hamburg-based museum later discovered that the acquisition process had been illicit during Korea’s National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage’s on-site surveys of the museum’s inventory of Korean cultural heritage between 2014 and 2016.
Meanwhile, the Hamburg museum’s collection has some 2,700 items from Korea, according to OCHF data. The number of pieces of cultural heritage in Germany is estimated to total about 10,000, according to separate data.By Shim Woo-hyun (email@example.com)