International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property

the Republic of Korea

N.B.: General country data and external links have been provided by the Member State. * Uploaded: 03/2023

General Country data

The main cultural assets of the Republic of Korea

The Republic of Korea has a vibrant culture in which ancient traditions and heritage coexist with new world-renowned cultural expressions. Well-preserved and cherished, cultural heritage has become the primary source of identity and pride for the people of the Republic of Korea. This country's artistic excellence, which has developed over centuries, is illustrated by gems of architecture, painting and calligraphy traditions, and distinctive handicrafts.

The Republic of Korea is the world's pioneer in promoting nature-culture linkages in heritage conservation, providing the world with best practices in integrating cultural and natural wonders.

The legal framework on cultural heritage conservation

Article 9 of the Republic of Korea’s Constitution of 1948 states, “The State shall strive to sustain and develop the cultural heritage and to enhance national culture.” The legal framework for heritage preservation is provided by the Cultural Heritage Protection Act, which has the purpose of “promoting cultural edification, contributing to the development of human culture by inheriting national culture and enabling it to be utilized through the preservation of cultural heritage.”

This Act contains legal definitions of cultural properties (both tangible and intangible); lays out the management and protection provisions of cultural properties; prohibits the export of “state-designated heritage” including national treasures and treasures as well as “ordinary movable cultural heritage” yet to be state-designated; and regulates other aspects concerning the protection, promotion, and utilization of cultural properties.

Other legal instruments include the Act on Protection and Inspection of Buried Cultural Heritage; Act on the Safeguarding and Promotion of Intangible Cultural Heritage; Special Act on the Preservation and Promotion of Ancient Cities; Act on Repair of Cultural Heritage, etc; Special Act on Preservation, Management, and Use of World Heritage; among others.

The Republic of Korea has also ratified the UNESCO 1970 Convention, the 1972 World Heritage Convention, the 2003 Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage and the 2005 Convention on Cultural Diversity.

The cultural and natural sites on the World Heritage List

Currently, the Republic of Korea has 15 cultural heritage properties – 13 cultural and 2 natural – inscribed on the World Heritage List. These archaeological sites, palaces, tombs, shrines and temples illustrate the country’s extraordinary history.

The Republic of Korea’s culture has practices and traditions that have been transmitted over centuries. Some of these cultural expressions, such as Talchum, mask dance drama in the Republic of Korea, are inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Adhesion to ICCROM

Korea, Republic of is a Member State of ICCROM since 22/07/1968


Mandates in ICCROM Council since 1958:

  • 1979-1988: Tae-Young Lee
  • 2000-2007: Byong-mo KIM
  • 2012-2015: Yong-Han Kim
  • 2016-2023: Young-Jae Chung

ICCROM Staff since 1959: 1

Involvement of Korean Nationals

Activities in/with the Republic of Korea since 2002

Activities details

Activities details

  • 2003 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2004 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2006 - 2 Mission(s)
  • 2008 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2011 - 3 Mission(s)
  • 2012 - 4 Mission(s), 2 Partnership(s)
  • 2013 - 1 Mission(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2014 - 1 Course(s), 3 Mission(s)
  • 2015 - 2 Course(s), 3 Mission(s)
  • 2016 - 3 Course(s), 2 Mission(s)
  • 2017 - 1 Course(s), 2 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)
  • 2018 - 1 Course(s), 2 Mission(s)
  • 2019 - 2 Course(s), 2 Mission(s)
  • 2020 - 1 Course(s)
  • 2021 - 2 Course(s)
  • 2022 - 3 Course(s), 5 Mission(s), 3 Partnership(s)
  • 2023 - 1 Course(s), 5 Mission(s), 4 Partnership(s)
  • 2024 - 2 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)

External links

Governmental Cultural Institutions

Museums and Cultural Heritage Institutions

* ICCROM reserves the right to moderate the content provided by Member States for country profiles to ensure that they remain within the scope of ICCROM’s mission and pertinent to cultural heritage. However, ICCROM does not take responsibility for the accuracy and validity of the content supplied. The ideas and opinions expressed are those of the Member States.