As co-organizers, the National Museum of Korea (NMK) and the Baekje World Heritage Center are proud to present Baekje Historic Areas of World Heritage, a special exhibition to celebrate the addition of “Baekje Historic Areas” to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015. The designated areas include eight sites of the Baekje Kingdom (18 BCE-660 CE) located in Gongju, Buyeo, and Iksan, which date from the Ungjin (475-538) and Sabi (538-660) periods. This is the first major exhibition on Baekje culture that NMK has hosted since the turn of the millennium, following the 1999 special exhibition Baekje.
The eight sites collectively designated as “Baekje Historic Areas” are as follows: in Gongju, Gongsanseong Fortress and Royal Tombs in Songsan-ri; in Iksan, the Archaeological Site in Wanggung-ri and Mireuksa Temple Site; and in Buyeo, the Archaeological Site in Gwanbuk-ri, Busosanseong Fortress, Naseong City Wall, and the Royal Tombs in Neungsan-ri, and Jeongnimsa Temple Site. The addition of this property to the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2015 was made possible through the combined efforts of the central and regional governments, as well as the local communities. Needless to say, everyone in Korea is pleased with this monumental achievement, but the delight of the involved parties has been especially gratifying to see.
UNESCO’s designation of “Baekje Historic Areas” directly reflects the uniqueness and excellence of Baekje culture, as well as the kingdom’s role in facilitating cultural exchange within East Asia. Through this momentous event, the cultural value of “Baekje Historic Sites” will be even more widely acknowledged, both domestically and internationally. Commemorating the first anniversary of the designation, this special exhibition is intended to convey the creativity and openness of Baekje’s remarkable culture, cultivated more than a millennium ago. At the same time, we hope that this exhibition serves as a catalyst, inspiring us to contemplate the culture that we will be handing down to our descendants in the forthcoming millennia.