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Korean UNESCO documentary heritage map published

All Headlines 17:10 January 06, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean civic organization internationally promoting the country and its history online said Friday that it has published 6,000 copies of an English-language Korean Documentary Heritage map featuring locations where 13 documentary heritages, registered in the UNESCO Memory of the World Heritage List, are kept or have been written.

Titled "Documentary Heritage in Korea," the map contains the names of the locations with explanations of the items, along with the years when the documents were designated as UNESCO heritages, Park Ki-tae, the head of the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK), said.

As an example, the map introduces Cheongju, 137 kilometers south of Seoul, as a place where "Jikji," the world's oldest extant book printed with movable metal type, was published at Heungdeok Temple in 1377 under the title of "Evidence of Important Technological Advancement in the World's Printing History."

The 12 other documentary heritages include "Joseon Wangjo Sillok," a documentation of 472 years of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910); "Hunminjeongeum Haerye," detailed explanations and examples of each letter of the Korean alphabet; "Seungjeongwon Ilgi," the world's longest record of Joseon kings' daily lives; "Goryeo Daejanggyeong (Tripitaka Koreana)"; "Donguibogam," a comprehensive medical book compiling 2,000 years of Eastern medicine knowledge; and "Nanjung Ilgi," a collection of diaries written by Admiral Yi Sun-sin during the seven-year Imjin War with Japan (1592-1598).

As of 2015, the number of South Korea's documentary heritages is the third largest in the world, following Germany with 20 and Poland with 14. It compares with China's 10 and Japan's four, Park said.

"However, this fact is not well-known to foreigners, and so I've decided to publish this map," he said.

The map will be handed out to young people who go abroad to study, travel or volunteer as material to promote the country when they meet foreigners, he added.

This is a Korean UNESCO documentary heritage map that the Seoul-based Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK) published for foreigners on Jan. 6, 2017. (Photo courtesy of VANK) (Yonhap)

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