Nine Confucian academies slated for inclusion on UNESCO World Heritage list
May 15, 2019
Global Korean Post
By Kang Gahui and Yoon Sojung
Nine Confucian academies from the Joseon Dynasty era (1392-1910) are expected to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage.
The Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) on May 14 said the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), which screens applications for UNESCO World Heritage, recommended in its evaluation report that the nine seowon, or a private Confucian academy, be added to the exclusive UNESCO list. Recommended candidates are generally included on the list unless otherwise stated.
The nine academies mentioned in the application are Sosu Seowon in Yeongju; Dosan and Byeongsan Seowon in Andong; Oksan Seowon in Gyeongju; Dodong Seowon in Dalseong-gun County; Namgye Seowo in Hamyang-gun County; Piram Seowon in Jangseong-gun County; Museong Seowon in Jeongeup; and Donam Seowon in Nonsan.
A seowon served as the venue for Confucian education and memorial rites during the Joseon era, with functions including educating youths and maintaining Confucian order in nearby villages.
CHA said ICOMOS considered the seowon’s role in helping spread Neo-Confucianism and how it exemplified the patterned architectural style of Confucian academies to justify the candidate’s “outstanding universal value.”
The final decision will come in June at the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Should the nine academies get approval, Korea will have 14 items on the UNESCO World Heritage list.