Professor Suh Ji-moon on Namdaemun (Sungryemun)
My friend Professor Suh Ji-moon (English Literature, Korea University) and I recently advised the Korean government's Cultural Heritage Administration -- part of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism -- on the English translation of the plaque that offers historical information on the restored Namdaemun (Great South Gate, aka Sungryemun, set ablaze by an arsonist in 2008), and she sent me some photographs with an email:
I'd put aside yesterday afternoon to go and see the restored Sungryemun and the plaque, and I did go, in spite of the rain -- which was not heavy, but enough to interfere with photo taking. There are two identical plaques on two sides of the gate plaza (if the small space can be called that) . . . . Before the fire, it never occurred to me to go near the gate to observe it at close range. I overheard, at the gate, people saying that before the fire, viewers were allowed to go up the stairs to see the gatehouse but that the house is closed to public now, becuase that's how the arsonist had access to the house and set fire . . . .Such were her words about their work . . . and ours. Also, here are her photos:
I guess the English part of the plaque couldn't be much better, given its basis on the Korean . . . . Anyway, thanks again for your kind help.
Above are the gate and restored walls, and below are some of the decorations:
Below is the historical marker, or plaque:
If you click on the image, you'll be able to read the plaque's words, which Professor Moon translated and I edited -- except that the people who actually constructed the plaque changed our punctuation slightly and twice left out the essential space required before a parenthesis.
They may even have reworded a slight bit. I'm not sure . . .