By Jung Joo-ri
Photos = National Museum of Korea
An exhibition on the Oegyujanggak Uigwe, the highlight of the Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty, was opened on Nov. 1.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the return of the historical documents, the National Museum of Korea in Seoul's Yongsan-gu District through March 19 next year will host "Pinnacle of Propriety: The Uigwe, Records of the State Rites of the Joseon Dynasty."
Listed as a UNESCO Memory of the World, the Oegyujanggak Uigwe is a collection of official records that chronicle all of the procedures and details of important royal rituals of the Joseon court. The documents were returned to Korea in 2011 in the form of a long-term rental 145 years after being looted by French soldiers during the Byeongin Yangyo incident of 1866 (French invasion of Ganghwa-do Island).
The exhibition's three sections -- "The Oegyujanggak Uigwe, Books for the King," "Rule of Propriety" and "Harmony within Order" -- features the results of research on the records over the last 10 years. On display are approximately 460 items, including the complete set of 297 books of the Oegyujanggak Uigwe, related records such as the paintings "Seogwoldoan" (Plan of the Western Palace) and "Portrait of Jo Yeong-bok," Hyojong Sangsiho Okchaek (royal books to commemorate the death of Joseon King Hyojong), and court supplies and costumes restored through the research's findings and outcomes.
Admission to the exhibition is KRW 2,000 for children and teenagers and KRW 5,000 for adults. Free admission will be offered from Nov. 21-27 to mark the date of death (Nov. 23) of Park Byeong-seon, a Korean French historian who led the campaign for the return of the Oegyujanggak Uigwe.