LACMA to Return 4 Korean Paintings

Buddha Seokgamoni Preaching to the Assembly on Vulture Peak, 1755
LACMA will restitute four Joseon Dynasty paintings that were apparently stolen from Korea's Mount Seorak temple by American soldiers in 1954. The paintings include a large Buddha Seokgamoni Preaching to the Assembly on Vulture Peak that was conserved on public view at LACMA and displayed with some fanfare in 2011. Three other paintings are from a set of Underworld Kings (1798).

GIs taking home cultural "souvenirs" is a problem in all war zones. The 13-feet-high Vulture Peak Buddha came to LACMA in six pieces and was considered too fragile to display until its conservation. The Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism plans a ceremony marking the restitution in August. 

Pre-conservation image


Anonymous said…
It's a shame that LA will be losing a masterpiece such as this, but LACMA is doing the right thing by repatriating it back to Korea.
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