Improvement of State Ownership of Excavated Cultural Heritage System and Establishment of Policy Direction

발굴매장문화재 국가귀속제도의 정책 개선방안 연구

  • Kim, Jong soo (Intangible Heritage Promotion Division, National Intangible Heritage Center Cultural Heritage Administration)
  • 김종수 (국립무형유산원 무형유산진흥과)
  • Received : 2015.09.30
  • Accepted : 2016.01.25
  • Published : 2016.03.30


State Ownership of Excavated Cultural Heritage System was originated from the legislations concerning cultural objects during the Japanese colonial period (1910~1945) and was succeeded by the present Buried Cultural Properties Act enacted in 2011. Despite the importance of the system that completes the outcomes of excavations and determines the state-owned cultural properties, the foundation of national heritage, it has been limitedly regarded as administrative area and neglected by the academic scholars or policy researchers. Recently the traditional culture has drawn increasing domestic interest and awareness that the cultural heritage contributes to building cultural identity and vitalizing tourism has led to increasing the demand of a local government's role in management of the state-designated cultural heritage and even fighting for hegemony in securing the cultural objects between the central and local governments. Despite the continuing efforts for improving the selection process of cultural heritage and its management institution, establishment of an advanced objective system has been requested. This paper is intended to suggest the policy direction through demonstrating the problem and assignment caused in the process of implementing the Buried Cultural Properties Act and reviews the State Ownership of Excavated Cultural Heritage System from the legal point of view accordingly. First, I suggest improving the selection process of the state-owned cultural properties. Even though current law states that Administrator of Cultural Heritage Administration reviews the research reports and selects the possible candidates for the state-owned cultural properties almost all the cultural objects listed on the reports are practically selected. In this regard, two possible resolutions can be made; newly establishing a separate process for selecting the state-owned cultural properties after publishing the report or adding the selection process of the state-owned cultural properties during the heritage selection meeting. Either way should contribute to strengthening the impartiality and objectivity of the policy. My second suggestion is improving the operating system of the heritage selection meeting in which the cultural properties to be listed on the reports are determined. Given the present extensive assessment criteria, there is much room for certain experts' subjective opinions. Therefore, in order to enhance the fairness and credibility of the heritage selection meeting, specifying the assessment criteria and advance review of the expert list are necessary. Third, this paper suggests increasing the local government's role in management of the state-owned cultural heritage and diversifying the heritage management institution. Development of a local self-governing system has led to the increased demand for delegating the authority of the state-owned heritage management to the local governments. Along with this, the gradual improvements of public museum management raises the need for expanding the cultural benefits through increasing the local government's role in management of the state-owned heritage. Considering the fact that overall majority of the art collections housed at national or public museums is owned by the central government, developing a variety of heritage contents and vitalizing the heritage tourism are crucial. The true meaning and value of the state-owned cultural heritage hidden at the storage of a museum can be found when they are shared together with the public.


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