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Royal books returned from France available online

Jan. 31, 2012 - 20:50 By Korea Herald
SEOUL (Yonhap) -- South Korea‘s national museum said Tuesday it has launched an online service where users can view some of the royal books retrieved from France early last year.

“We built a digital database of the Oegyujanggak books and made them available on our website to better preserve the original copies and improve users’ accessibility,” the National Museum of Korea said in a statement.

The museum said it plans to expand the online service to include the full collection of the returned books in the future.

France returned the 297 volumes of ancient books through a renewable lease in April and May last year. The books were looted from Korea in 1866 during the French troops‘ invasion of Ganghwa Island off the west coast of the country.

The books are from a collection of documents known as “Uigwe,”which recorded and illustrated royal protocols used during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The texts describe the procedures and formalities used to conduct weddings, funerals, banquets and other royal events.