For the eternal friendship of Korea and France,
we request the complete return of ‘Uigwe’
that Koreans’ souls dwell in.
VANK(Voluntary Agency Network of Korea) launches a global campaign to gather global public opinion to fully return the ownership of Oegyujanggak Uigwe.
Following the inauguration of French President Macron, France began returning cultural heritages that were plundered by French army in Africa during colonial rule.
Now is the time to permanently return the ownership of Oegyujanggak Uigwe to Korea, as France is pursuing a policy of returning cultural heritages that were forcibly looted during the imperialist era.
France returned the Oegyujanggak Uigwe (a book that summarized the royal events of Joseon Dynasty in writing and painting), which was plundered during the French expedition to Korea in 1866 during French colonial empire, in the form of ‘permanent-loan’ to the Republic of Korea in April 2011.
However, it was not a ‘full return’. There was a condition that the rental(loan) had to be renewed every five years, and even now, the ownership of Uigwe is in the French National Library(BnF: Bibliothèque nationale de France), not the Republic of Korea, so the Republic of Korea cannot independently display and utilize it.
Above all, because the Oegyujanggak Uigwe is not fully owned by the Republic of Korea government, it cannot be designated as National Treasure of Korea.
Now, the time has come for France to make a great decision to return permanently not only of the cultural heritages that were looted during the colonial rule in African countries, but also to the Oegyujanggak Uigwe that was plundered from Joseon during the time of imperialism.
Accordingly, VANK started a global petition for the complete return of Oegyujanggak Uigwe on the world’s biggest petition site, and created and started distributing digital posters in Korean, English, and French through social media worldwide.
The poster describes “For the eternal friendship of Korea and France, we request the complete return of ‘Uigwe’ that Koreans’ souls dwell in.”