Korea’s Gyeongbokgung Palace Is Vandalized For The Second Time — Suspect Turns Himself In

They hadn’t even finished removing the first set of graffiti.

Just two days after an unidentified pedestrian sprayed graffiti on the walls of Gyeongbokgung Palace, another set of new graffiti has been discovered.

Gyeongbokgung Palace | KBS News

On December 16, the public was shocked to discover that Korea’s historical landmark, the Gyeongbokgung Palace, was graffitied. CCTV footage showed the suspect in dark clothing in the act of vandalism and even taking a picture of it after he was done.

A suspect is captured vandalizing the Gyeongbokgung Palace. | KBS News 

More than 20 experts from the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage were conducting laser and chemical cleaning and restoration work to remove the graffiti. According to KBS News, fully removing the graffiti would take at least a week.

Experts remove the graffiti with laser and chemical treatment. | KBS News 

However, according to MBN, another act of vandalism occurred before the restoration was complete, creating even more shock. The graffiti included a singer’s name and an album title and was sprayed right next to the first graffiti, which was covered up in restoration.

A new set of graffiti appeared next to the first graffiti. | KBS News

The suspect in the imitation crime, a man in his 20s (referred to as A), turned himself in. He voluntarily completed a 6-hour investigation from 11:45 a.m. on December 18 to 5:45 p.m. the same day and returned home. Police are trying to find out if he had any accomplices.

Suspect A turned himself in. | Yonhap News

He remained silent in response to reporters’ questions such as, “What was the motive for the crime?” and “What is the meaning behind the graffiti?” According to the police, A is accused of spray-painting the western wall of Gyeongbokgung at around 10 p.m. on December 17. This is presumed to be the first “graffiti terror” imitating crime.

Gyeongbokgung was built in 1395 and is one of Korea’s historical cultural sites. The police consider these individuals’ vandalism of cultural heritage a severe crime and have announced plans to respond strictly. The current law prohibits writing, drawing, or carving on privately designated cultural properties.

On the morning of December 17, experts worked hard to remove the graffiti before the second imitation crime occurred. | Yonhap News

Police believe that the first graffiti was done by two people, a man and a woman, and are on the lookout for them.

 

Source: KBS News, KBS News and Wikitree