* Date : 2016-01-19
Martine Prost became a naturalized Korean citizen in 2015 in recognition of her contribution to the efforts to return Uigwe, the Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty, home. She is now one of few Korean citizens with dual citizenship.
Uigwe, the Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty, is a vast collection of written records and illustrations of important state ceremonies and events of the Joseon Dynasty. They were taken by the French troops during the French campaign against Korea in 1866, and housed at the National Library of France in Paris. Then, in 1979, their existence finally became known to the people of Korea thanks to Park Byeong-seon, a librarian at the National Library of France at the time.
Since then, the Korean government as well as Korean and foreign academics including Martine Prost have been demanding the French government to return these books. Thanks to their endless efforts, the French government announced in 2010 that they will return the entire collection of Uigwe, the Royal Protocols, in their possession to Korea, and they were returned to home soil 147 years after they were taken. The ownership right to Uigwe, the Royal Protocols, still belong to France, but Martine Prost and many others have helps us take the necessary first step toward the restoration of Korea’s lost legacy.
We went to Martine Prost's home in Hannam-dong, Seoul to speak more about this issue, and ask her about the Island of the Pine (L'ile au Pin), a traditional Korea-style garden, at Paris Diderot University - Paris 7, where she formerly taught. We also followed her when she came to visit the Arirang Radio station to meet her son, Adrien Lee, who has been promoting Korea and Korean culture on the global stage through his radio show, "Catch the Wave."
Join us this week on The INNERview to meet Martine Prost who has been passionately promoting Korea and speaking on our behalf in her home country, France.