No Statute of Limitation on Doing What’s Right: First of Korean Royal Books Come Home 145 Years After Looting

On April 14, 2011, some of Korean royal books looted by the French in 1866 were received by  National Museum of Korea in Seoul, South Korea. The books were not returned but rather sent per “renewable lease” agreement based on the French law on cultural assets. As reported by, the lease means that the books were returned temporarily pursuant on a five-year renewable loan agreement. Negotiations to reach this Solomonic agreement lasted about 20 years.  Apparently, it was reached during summit talks of the G20 Seoul Summit.

The books deal with royal funerals, weddings and other ceremonies during the Joseon Dynasty, in power between 1392 and 1910.

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