The Korea Herald


Heritage agency renamed ahead of May revamp

By Choi Si-young

Published : March 11, 2024 - 16:45

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The Korea Heritage Service logo. (KHS) The Korea Heritage Service logo. (KHS)

South Korea’s Cultural Heritage Administration will be renamed the Korea Heritage Service effective May 17, a CHA official said Monday.

The name change, part of larger efforts to overhaul the agency, was passed by the National Assembly in April 2023.

“The change from ‘administration’ to ‘service’ is meant to show we want to get closer to the people and have them feel the same as well when they think of us,” a senior CHA official said of the decision.

Other broader changes will take effect on May 17. The term “national heritage” will replace “cultural properties” and heritage will be grouped into natural, cultural or intangible heritage in line with the UNESCO classifications.

At an annual briefing held in late February, CHA chief Choi Eung-chon revealed parallel initiatives to be implemented with the structural overhaul, saying the agency was eyeing sweeping deregulations and broader outreach.

“That’s our new role and value,” Choi said. The plans involve relaxing regulations to lessen developers’ costs in prescreening for the presence of artifacts underground where construction is to take place and facilitating exchanges of artworks.

The exchange of artworks will be facilitated by easing restrictions that mandate local artworks created more than 50 years ago to undergo government review before being taken out of the country.

Choi added he would also support joint museum exhibitions with global institutions, and foreign aid projects assisting countries in preserving their cultural heritage. Seoul is currently assisting preservation projects in Egypt and Cambodia.