Cultural Heritage Administration

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Cultural Heritage Administration
Emblem of the Cultural Heritage Administration (English).svg
Agency overview
Formed24 May 1999
Preceding agency
  • Bureau of Cultural Property
JurisdictionGovernment of South Korea
Headquarters189 Cheongsa-ro Seo-gu Daejeon, South Korea
Agency executive
Parent departmentMinistry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

The Cultural Heritage Administration (Korean문화재청; Hanja文化財廳) or CHA, formerly the Cultural Properties Administration, is the agency of the South Korean government charged with preserving and promoting Korean cultural heritage. It is headquartered in the city of Daejeon at the Daejeon Government Complex. Previously part of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, it was elevated to a sub-ministerial agency in 1999.[1]


The Cultural Properties Administration was formally established in October 1961, but traces its roots back via the Former Royal Properties Administration to the Office created in November 1945 at the beginning of American military rule.[1] The 1962 Cultural Property Protection Law was modelled on the Japanese 1950 Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties.[2]


In accordance with Article 2 of the 1962 Cultural Property Protection Law, cultural heritage is classified in four main categories: Tangible Cultural Heritage (including National Treasures); Intangible Cultural Heritage (including Important Intangible Cultural Heritage); Monuments (including Historic Sites, Scenic Sites, and Natural Monuments); and Folklore Cultural Heritage (including both tangible and intangible assets).[1][3]

In 2010 the CHA was involved with the Gwanghwamun restoration project,[4] where a new name plate on the restored Gate was unveiled on the same day. However, cracks in the wooden plate were showing by early November, where a long vertical crack is visible on the left side of Hanja character "Gwang" and beneath "Hwa" in the middle. The Administration cited the dry autumn weather for the contraction of the wood, but experts differs on that an immature pine board was used to meet the deadline for completion and that the wood had not dried properly.[5][6] After many debates, a repair to the cracks was made, and the Government commissioned a new name plate. 13 wooden boards for the new signboard were cut in September 2011 and have since undergone a natural drying process in Gangwon Province. However, in a survey of 5,000 people conducted by the Administration, 58.7 percent responded that the inscription should be in Hangul while 41.3 percent opted Hanja but the long-lost 1395 original was in Hanja. A majority of experts consulted thought the sign should be carved as the original had been.[7]

In December 2012, following the folk song "Arirang" being inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity programme by UNESCO,[8] the Administration announced a five-year plan to promote and preserve the song. The plan is aim to support "Arirang" festivals by regional organizations, as well as building an archive for the song, exhibitions, fund research; of which it has allocated ₩33.6 billion.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Cultural Heritage Administration" (PDF). Cultural Heritage Administration. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  2. ^ Yang Jongsung (2003). Cultural Protection Policy in Korea: Intangible Cultural Properties and Living National Treasures. Jimoondang International. pp. 33ff. ISBN 1931897050.
  3. ^ "The Act for Cultural Property Preservation" (PDF). UNESCO Cultural Heritage Laws Database. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  4. ^ Chung, Ah-young (15 August 2010). "Gwanghwamun reveals original beauty". Korea Times. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  5. ^ "New Gwanghwamun Signboard Cracks". Chosun Ilbo. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  6. ^ Lee, Claire (4 November 2010). "Gwanghwamun plate was rushed". Korea Herald. Retrieved 2012-04-23.
  7. ^ "Seoul Landmark Restorations to Be Completed This Year". Chosun Ilbo. 4 January 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Arirang, lyrical folk song in the Republic of Korea". Intangible Heritage. UNESCO. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  9. ^ "UNESCO Puts 'Arirang' on Intangible Heritage List". Chosun Ilbo. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  10. ^ "UN Commemoration Park in Korea". Registered Cultural Heritage 359. Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea.

External links[edit]