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Website for oldest metal-printed book opens in multiple languages

All News 15:16 November 27, 2020

CHEONGJU, South Korea, Nov. 27 (Yonhap) -- A website has opened to introduce "Jikji," the world's oldest existing metal-printed book, in multiple languages, a South Korean museum said Friday.

The site (www.globaljikji.org) provides detailed history and description of "Jikji" in 11 languages, including Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, French and Spanish, according to the Cheongju Early Printing Museum.

Images of the original "Jikji", received from the National Library of France, are also available, along with expert explanations of and academic documents on the book and metal-printing technology of Korea.

This image, provided by the Cheongju city government, shows the official website introducing "Jikji." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The book, written by Ven. Baegun about the Zen teachings of great Buddhist priests, was printed by his two disciples at Heungdeok Temple in 1377, which is 78 years ahead of the printing of the Gutenberg Bible. In 2001, "Jikji" was confirmed by UNESCO as the world's oldest book printed with movable metal type and was included in its Memory of the World Program.

It consisted of two volumes, but only the second volume is currently stored at the National Library of France.

"Visitors can see all the information and documents on 'Jikji' and Korea's metal printing technology on the official website at one glance," a museum official said.

This file photo shows "Jikji," the world's oldest existing metal-printed book. (Yonhap)


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