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Heritage Practices during the Park Chung Hee Era

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the heritage practices of the Park Chung Hee era, and argues that Korea's national heritage was appropriated as a political resource, instrumented and used by the state in order to legitimize itself and consolidate its power through constant reference to a shared national past. In order to shed light on the formation of official heritage discourse, it first examines the Office of Cultural Properties (OCP) management practices and approach to heritage as reflected in the official publication of the Office, the journal Cultural Properties. The chapter investigates the process through which heritage is attributed meaning by considering several 'historic sites' that were designated and intensely promoted during the Park Chung Hee era. The author argues that through sanctioned on-site interpretations, military heroes, martyrs and mythical founders of the ancient kingdoms become vehicles communicating values relevant for the present, such as patriotism, loyalty, independent spirit, national solidarity.

Keywords: Korea's national heritage; loyalty; Office of Cultural Properties (OCP); Park Chung Hee era; patriotism

10.1163/9789004265226_020
/content/books/b9789004265226s020
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