Dokdo Museum celebrates 10th anniversary

The Dokdo Museum, the only museum dedicated to Korea’s easternmost island group Dokdo, marks its 10th anniversary on Wednesday (Aug. 8).

To celebrate the anniversary, the museum will hold a forum on civil diplomat Ahn Yong-bok, a defender of Korea’s sovereignty over the East Sea island cluster during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), and a special lecture with the head of Korea’s Cultural Heritage Administration Yoo Hong-joon on August 7.

Ahn is the 17th century Korean fisherman who drove Japanese rivals from the islands and later made Japanese authorities confirm the territory was Korean.

On Aug. 8, poetry recitals and a dance performance will take place on Dokdo. The museum will also house a special exhibition from August 8 to October 6 of 60 maps that clearly show Dokdo and Ulleungdo as Korean territory.

The Samsung Foundation of Culture supported the funds to build the museum after Ulleung County provided the land back in 1995. The two cooperated on the project as part of the 50th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule (1910-1945).

Lee Jong-hak (1927-2002), the first curator of the museum, was also one of its biggest contributors. Lee donated numerous artifacts related to Dokdo, which he had spent three decades collecting.

Since the establishment of the museum on August 8, 1997, 890,000 visitors saw the museum’s exhibition of various historical records, including old maps of Korea and Japan and Russia and other document that identify Dokdo as Korean.

The display includes Dokdo records from as far back as 512 B.C. Further contributions were made by the citizens group Volunteer Guard of Dokdo, headed by the late Hong Sun-chil, and the Green Ulleung-Dokdo Club.

The museum has three exhibition rooms, a central hall, special exhibition room, a video room with reports on Dokdo’s ecosystem, and a lobby with a view that frames the cluster of islands, which lie about 87 km to the southeast.

Outside the museum, surrounded by 828 native rocks of Ulleung-do, is the Dokdo Museum Monument with its written pledge regarding the island.

The shape of the building is reminiscent of Dokdo itself.

For the past 10 years, the Dokdo Museum has contributed greatly to organizing resources and theories that refute Japanese nationalists’ claims over our land”, Han Seung-jin, the current chief curator of the Dokdo Museum said. “Our museum will keep up with our contribution to national pride and defese of the territorial rights of the country”.

Dokdo is 157.5 km northwest of Japan’s Oki Island. The Japanese government calls the island cluster Takeshima and claims it belongs to Japan based on a decleration that came five years before imperial Japan completely annexed the entire Korean Peninsula in 1910.

Date: August 06, 2007 | Korea.net News

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