The stupa of State Preceptor Jigwang, restoring the original shape after conservation treatment for 5 years
- Publication of the conservation treatment and research achievements on process by National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage -
The Cultural Heritage Conservation Science Center (CHCSC, Director, Jeong Soyoung) in National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage (NRICH) under the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) of Korea completed the conservation treatment of the stupa of State Preceptor Jigwang for 5 years since 2016. In addition, CHCSC published a report, <Conservation Restoration for the stupa of State Preceptor Jigwang from Beopcheonsa Temple Site in Wonju Ⅲ> and www to the public through the homepage of NRICH and planned the on-line release of the webtoon about information and conservation treatment on cultural heritage related to the stupa of State Preceptor Jigwang.
The National treasure no. 101, the stupa of State Preceptor Jigwang from Beopcheonsa Temple Site in Wonju was set up in Beopcheonsa Temple, Wonju, Gangwon-do Province, Korea as the stupa for Haerin(海麟, 984-1017), who was a state preceptor in Goryo Dynasty and it has unique structures and splendid carvings, impressive decorations, which makes it considered as the most characterful and splendid stupa in history. However, it went through several adversities including that it has been taken to Osak, Japan in 1912 during the Japanese colonial rule, and damaged by bombing during the Korean war.
From the result of the regular inspection twice (2005, 2010), special comprehensive inspection (2014) and precise diagnosis (2015) on the stupa, various cracks and damaged parts which were restored with mortar in the past were found. Moreover, there was the structural instability of its roof and finial, which raised concern about additional damage, and finally through the deliberations by the cultural heritage committee, it was decided that the stupa needs to be dismantled and the conservation treatment is required.
Accordingly, CHCSC has carried out the complete dismantling in 2016 and conservation treatment for the stupa until recently. During the process, all units were documented for each and mortar was removed. Missing parts were replaced with new stone and damaged parts were joined.
Unavoidably, when new stone was needed for restoration, CHCSC tried to obtain stone from its original production area by scientifically investigating its source as possible as it can. As the result of its investigation on the production area, it was identified that stone used for the stupa was quarried from Wonju, which helped CHCSC choose the most similar stone materials to original ones used when the stupa was built at that time.
Furthermore, based on glass photo materials and drawings of the stupa, the research on its iconography was carried out to restore missing parts, and its units were processed and joined by traditional techniques and tools. And also, academic achievements were attained in the research of inorganic binder which had been used for restoration of the stupa.
NRICH used new stone in part for 19 units among total 29 units during this conservation treatment, and new stone was added for half of the roof and finial, which gave structural stability. Besides, destroyed pieces from the carving of the roof which were found in the hole of its sarira and carvings on the lower stylobate were restored to their original places through scientific and historical research. And CHCSC made great efforts to restore its original shape which was lost in the past through the convergence of research in the field of science and humanities.
The publication of <Conservation Restoration for the stupa of State Preceptor Jigwang from Beopcheonsa Temple Site in Wonju Ⅲ> includes the contents of the project, research and restoration process in details up from 2018 to 2019. The process of inserting new stone which is the most similar stone material found from Wonju to the stupa, research on splendid carvings and decorations and structural strengthening for damaged parts by utilizing the patent technology were specifically included as well. The access to this report is available at the homepage of NRICH(https://portal.nrich.go.kr) and www to the public.
Subsequently, the plan of its final location for the stupa will be discussed by CHA and Wonju City to decide its proper place for preserving the stupa as cultural heritage.
Based on this completion of the stupa of State Preceptor Jigwang from Beopcheonsa Temple Site in Wonju, CHCSC in National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage under the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea will try to continue its effort for the preservation of original shapes for stone cultural heritage as well as scientific conservation treatment.
110년 떠돈 국보 '원주 법천사지 지광국사탑' 귀향 준비 마쳐
임동근 기자 / 기사승인 : 2021-01-20 10:24:21
5년간 보존처리작업 완료…복원과정·연구성과 보고서 발간
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