Announcement: Cultural Heritage Protection in Korea – Contents of Law and Policy and their Changes in Relation to International Conventions

Jihon Kim, Editor - Cultural Heritage Protection in Korea – Contents of Law and Policy and their Changes in Relation to International Conventions


Jihon Kim

Based on important UNESCO Conventions, this book provides a comprehensive overview of the legal and policy framework for the protection of cultural heritage in the Republic of Korea. Korea has ratified numerous UNESCO Conventions on the protection of cultural heritage and introduced the relevant national legislation. At the same time, some of the provisions of legislation have been revised in response to national challenges.  In doing so, Korea has legally and politically ensured that the core ideas of the UNESCO Conventions are better reflected in the Korean national framework than before. This approach has served as a valuable reference for a number of other UNESCO member states to adapt conventions in their own countries.

The author analyses various Korean domestic legislation and policies for the protection of cultural heritage as they relate to the following four UNESCO conventions: the Convention for the Prevention of Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property, the World Heritage Convention, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention, and the Convention on Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Korean legislation and policy relevant to the Convention for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage is dealt with as well, though Korea is not a State Party to it.

Each international cultural heritage convention has had its own impact on Korean domestic legislation and policy. As an active Member State of UNESCO, Korea has participated in the international discussion on the development of those conventions and their operational guidelines and has made domestic endeavours to fully implement them at the same time. And as conventions have changed, certain provisions have been revised, added, or deleted. At the same time, the unique issues within the local context also have been a driving force for changes at the legal and policy levels. Recent Korean domestic cases as well as international cases relevant to Korea can reveal the rationales behind those changes and serve as a barometer of their effectiveness.

Through a substantive analysis of Korean law and policy as they relate to the international conventions regarding cultural heritage and its protection, the book reveals a distinct Korean vision thereof. In a mutually reinforcing way, both the UNESCO conventions and Korean legislation have made strides for the sustainable protection of future generations’ cultural heritage.

This book will be of special interest and relevance to students, researchers and professionals in both governmental and non-governmental capacities in the fields of the law, arts, policy and administration.

The Book will be published in 2024.