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Country Summary for KOREA, REPUBLIC OF

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


'Cultural Heritage'artificially or naturally formed national, racial, or world heritage of outstanding historic, artistic, academic, or scenic value. (CHPA Art. 2)

'Tangible cultural heritage'tangible cultural works such as buildings, records, books, ancient documents, paintings, sculptures, artifacts, and other archaeological resources similar thereto. (CHPA Art. 2)

'Folklore resources'customs or traditions related to food, clothing, housing, trades, religion, annual observances, and clothing, implements, houses, which are essential for understanding changes to the life of nationals. (CHPA Art. 2)

historic sites such as temples, ancient tombs, shell mounds, fortress or palace ruins, as well as particularly commemorable facilities of outstanding historic or academic value. (CHPA Art. 2)

'Ordinary Movable Cultural Heritage'includes pictures, sculptures, stonework, artifacts, classical books, old documents, letters, calligraphy carving, modern media, archaeological resources, natural history resources, scientific and technical tools, folklore resources and foreign cultural heritage. (Decree, Art. 36.1)

'State-designated cultural heritage'Cultural heritage designated by the Administrator of the Cultural Heritage Administration. (CHPA Art. 2)

'City-designated cultural heritage'Cultural heritage designated by a Special Metropolitan City Mayor, Metropolitan City Mayor, Do Governor, or the  Governor of a Special Self-Governing Province. (CHPA Art. 2)

'Cultural heritage resources'Cultural heritage designated by a Mayor/Do Governor, which fall outside the above two categories. (CHPA Art. 2)

'Registered Cultural Heritage'not designated by the state or city, but which requires special measures for preservation and is thus registered by the Administrator of Cultural Heritage Administration. (CHPA, Art. 2)

'Foreign Cultural Heritage'designated and protected by a foreign country, which shall fall under the same protections as cultural heritage designated within Korea. (CHPA, Art. 21)

'Buried Cultural Heritage'tangible cultural heritage buried or distributed underground or underwater; and tangible cultural heritage contained in structures. (Buried Heritage Act, Art. 2)

designated by the Administrator of the Cultural Heritage Administration, and are defined as cultural heritage of great importance. (CHPA Art. 23)

'National Treasures'
cultural heritage of great importance for humanity and without parallel in human history. (CHPA Art. 23)

'National Trust'voluntary preservation and management of cultural heritage and natural environment assets in the private sector. (Trust Act, Art. 2)

'Preservation Property'
property falling under cultural heritage or natural environment assets and is owned by the National Trust. (Trust Act, Art. 2)


The Administrator of the Cultural Heritage Administration
(“Administrator”) may register certain cultural heritage for which measures for preservation and utilization are specifically required. (CHPA Art. 53)

Where the owner of a national treasure, treasure, or important folklore resource is notified of revocation
of designation of cultural heritage, he/she shall return the letter of designation to the Administrator. (CHPA Art. 31)

Where the owner of registered cultural heritage is notified of the cancellation of registration of cultural heritage, he/she shall return its registration certificate to the Administrator. (CHPA Art. 58)

Relevant State Agencies

The Cultural Heritage Committee shall be established under the Cultural Heritage Administration to investigate and deliberate on the matters concerning the preservation, management, and utilization of cultural heritage
, including:
(1) matters concerning the designation of State-designated cultural heritage and the revocation of such designation;
(2) matters concerning the expatriation of any State-designated cultural heritage; and
(3) matters concerning the registration of cultural heritage and cancellation of such registration. (CHPA Art. 8)

The Cultural Heritage Administration may support or foster related agencies or organizations where necessary for the protection and recovery of cultural heritage overseas.
(CHPA Art. 69)

Necessary matters concerning standards and procedures for registration of cultural heritage shall be determined by Ordinance of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. (CHPA Art. 53)

III.  Export Restrictions

IV.  Ownership Rights and Restrictions

V.  Violations, Penalties and Sanctions

VI.  International Conventions and Bilateral Agreements
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Country Contact
for Cultural Property
Rha Sun-hwa
Cultural Properties Administration
Government Complex -- Daejeon 189, Cheongsa-ro
920 Dunsan-dong
Seo-gu, Daejeon, Korea (302-701)
Ph: 82-42-481- 4735