A Legacy Lost

Just before daybreak on a rainy summer morning last July, three large trucks pulled up to the gates of an outdoor sculpture museum south of Seoul with some unusual passengers. The trucks were carrying 70 wooden crates: inside, carefully wrapped in felt, lay the statues of 65 Korean scholars, one warrior and four children. Elegant, stylized figures chiseled from blocks of gray granite hundreds of years ago, they once stood guard over the tombs of Korea's royal families. But the statues had not been seen in Korea for half a century. Most of them had disappeared during Japan's occupation of the...

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