Restored Buddhist painting to be returned to Seattle

October 23, 2015
(Yonhap)

After a 10-month restoration process at Yong In University, just south of Seoul, this Buddhist painting from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) will finally make its way back to the U.S. next Friday, researchers said. (Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — A Buddhist painting from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) has been restored and will be sent back to its museum home in Seattle next week, South Korean researchers said Friday.

The artwork, presumed to be from the 18th or 19th century, was found sullied and damaged at a Seattle museum in December 2014, with its origin and creator unknown.

After a 10-month restoration process at Yong In University, just south of Seoul, the 156cm-by-217cm work will finally make its way back to the U.S. next Friday, researchers said.

“When I first saw the painting, I realized it needed more than a touch-up but a full-on makeover,” Park Ji-seon, a Yong In professor in cultural heritage preservation, said. “We tried to use as many local materials as possible. The interior has been replaced with a durable material.”

The painting arrived in South Korea contaminated and creased, Yong In researchers said, adding it was missing some of the upper part and came attached to a Japanese scroll.

The latest restoration completed the two-decade project conducted by the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Korea Foundation. Since 1998, the two organizations have located 36,000 Korean artifacts scattered around eight countries, of which 19 were restored.

The most recent accomplishment will be presented at the KF Global Center in Seoul next Thursday.

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