VANK, Voluntary Agency Network of Korea, started a petition to stop construction of the Legoland in Chuncheon
Urged UNESCO and its members to participate in preservation of Jungdo heritage
“What if the Legoland is built after the Stonehenge in the UK, the Parthenon in Greece or the Pyramid in Egypt is demolished?”
The development of Legoland proceeded by the government of Gangwon Province is emerging to an international issue, causing the controversy of destroying the heritage site and wasting tax.
Lately, the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea, VANK, started a international petition, saying that the development of the Legoland is the action to destroy the heritage and urging UNESCO and the member states to participate in its preservation.
The VANK appealed for attention, asking if the international society would tolerate the construction of Legoland after destroying the worldwide famous heritage such as the Stonehenge in the UK, the Parthenon in Greece, the Pyramid in Egypt, the Colosseum in Italy, and so on.
They highlighted that the Legoland is being built with destruction of the Jungdo prehistoric site in the Republic of Korea in 2020, and the amount of 9,000 relics, 1,266 house sites and 149 tombs of the prehistoric period have been excavated in the Jungdo so far.
Also, they criticized that the culture and belief of humankind in the Jungdo are deliberately destroyed by the short-sighted development policy, and we are on the verge of losing the important opportunity to see, hear, and learn about expression and ideas of humankind.
Moreover, they demanded the government to take responsible measures as a member of UNESCO.
According to the Article 3 of UNESCO Declaration concerning the Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage, states should take all appropriate measures to prevent, avoid, stop and suppress acts of intentional destruction of cultural heritage.
They also criticized the government of Gangwon Province that has proceeding its development and the Cultural Heritage Administration that has permitted it.
They said that the government of Gangwon Province, where the Jungdo is located, and the Cultural Heritage Administration, the responsible ministry, have permitted and looked on the construction, instead of taking actions to prevent, stop, and ban the development of Legoland, which is an act of intentional destruction of the Jungdo.
Besides, they emphasized that the globe should pay attention to this, saying that the international community recognizes the importance of the protection of cultural heritage and takes responsibility to fight against its intentional destruction in any form so that such cultural heritage may be transmitted to the succeeding generations.
They urged “UNESCO should investigate the deliberate destruction of the Jungdo historic site in the Republic of Korea and make a recommendation to stop it and also provide judicial and administrative assistance for the impending destruction of cultural heritage of the Jungdo site.”
In addition, “member states of UNESCO should make a recommendation to ban the intentional destruction of the Jungdo site in the Republic of Korea”, they added.
UNESCO established for the purpose of world peace and human development after the World War Ⅱ in 1945, according to the Korean National Commission for UNESCO. During the war, between 1942 and 1944, education ministers from the Allied Powers gathered in London and agreed with establishment of an international organization for the reconstruction of education and world peace. After that, the representatives from 37 countries adopted the UNESCO Charter on November 16, 1945.
The mission of UNESCO, as an agency affiliated with the United Nations, is to contribute to the world peace and sustainable development by promoting the international cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture and information communication. There are currently 193 full and 11 associate members, and the Republic of Korea joined on June 14, 1950, as its 55th member.
Despite the strong criticism, a governor of Gangwon Province, Choi Moon-soon said “the Legoland is the first global theme park in the Republic of Korea and will be the most beautiful theme part in the world” at an on-site briefing.
Regarding the plan to preserve the cultural assets, he mentioned that “compared to other regions where cover transparent glass to manage the assets, we will establish a historical park to attract tourists and cooperate with the city of Chuncheon to display other cultural assets in the region”.