The Gyeongbokgung Palace, a nationwide treasure within the coronary heart of South Korea’s capital that attracts tens of millions of holiday makers annually, was vandalized with graffiti twice over the weekend.
Components of the 14th century palace had been spray painted in pink and blue on Saturday and Sunday nights, based on the police. The police stated not less than two folks acted on Saturday, and not less than one particular person did on Sunday. They’ve but to establish the suspects from Saturday. One particular person handed themselves to police on Monday morning. Police haven’t decided a motive.
Whereas graffiti is extra frequent in alleyways and tunnels in South Korea, heritage websites are a uncommon goal within the nation, and have particular protections below the legislation, with violators going through stiff jail sentences and fines.
The palace is among the 5 grand palaces constructed in the course of the Joseon Dynasty and boasts clay folklore statues, the king’s throne corridor, and expansive roofs produced from fired clay tiles in pink, blue and inexperienced. It’s nestled on the foot of a serious mountain, Bugaksan, among the many trendy workplace buildings of central Seoul. It was utilized by Gucci this 12 months to host a trend present.
The authorities had been first alerted to vandalism on the palace at about 2 a.m. on Saturday. The phrases “free film” in Korean and several other web site addresses had been written with blue and pink spray paint.
Two areas had been focused: the doorway to Yeongchu Gate, the palace’s western gate, and the aspect gate of the Nationwide Palace Museum. The full harm unfold throughout 44 meters.
Authorities staff started cleansing off the graffiti the subsequent day. Experiences of a second spray-painting got here in to police at about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, this time in pink and spanning three meters of the western gate. The phrases included the title of an artist and album in English. The police declined to say what these had been.
Gyeongbokgung Palace, situated within the coronary heart of downtown and Seoul’s outdated capital district, was inbuilt 1395 as the primary palace of the Joseon Dynasty, the final dynastic period of Korea earlier than the Korean empire and the primary Japanese annexation. A big a part of the palace is being restored.
Police stated they imagine the suspects from every evening are totally different and that the second incident might need been a copycat.
At the least 20 authorities staff are eradicating the graffiti, which officers say will take a few week. The broken areas are coated with a tarp and the encircling areas are closed off by fences.
The palace is protected below the Cultural Heritage Protection Act and anybody charged with vandalizing it might withstand 5 years in jail and a advantageous of as much as $39,000.