Korean news channel YTN (Channel 24)


Artefacts stolen from an Italian excavation site have been returned and shown to local visitors for the first time.

The movement to return looted cultural property is accelerating, not only in Italy but also in major European countries such as Germany and the UK.

Reporter Hwang Bo-yeon reports.


A special exhibition was held at the Castel Sant’Angelo Castle Museum in Rome, Italy.

Ornate necklace and golden ring

Various paintings and decorations adorned medieval walls and floors

Estimated from the 8th century BC to the Middle Ages, these relics are worth about 17 billion won in our currency.

These were stolen from an Italian excavation site in the past and recently returned to the UK.

[빈센초 몰리네 / 이탈리아 문화유산 담당자 : 가장 복잡한 순간은 문화재 소유 영국 회사가 반환할 수 있음 보여줬을 때입니다. 불법성을 인정하는 의지였습니다.]

The Italian government, which is cheering for the so-called ‘return of looted cultural property’, has also embarked on a meaningful task to return the cultural property it looted in the past to its country of origin.

In order to find foreign cultural assets illegally obtained in the past, information on the collections of almost 500 museums is thoroughly examined.

[안드레아 빌리아니 / 로마문명박물관장 : 문화재의 운명을 최선의 방법으로 결정할 수 있도록 조사 내용을 정치인에게 전달하는 게 박물관의 책무입니다.]

Germany, France and Britain have already achieved meaningful results in the return of looted cultural property.

As of 2021, the ownership of 1,200 Benin cultural assets looted during the imperial era was transferred to Nigeria in turn.

The Holy See also contributed to the decision to return three of the Parthenon statues owned by the Vatican Museum to Greece.

[프란치스코 교황 : 이것이 일곱 번째 계명입니다. 물건을 훔쳤으면 돌려줘야 합니다.]

About 229,000 Korean cultural assets have been taken out of the country by the invasion of foreign powers during the Joseon Dynasty, the Japanese colonial period, and the Korean War.

Voices are growing that the government should be more active in testing illegal exports and linking them to domestic returns.

This is YTN Hwang Bo-yeon.

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