S. Korean Court Denies Temple's Ownership of Statue Stolen from Japan


Daejeon, South Korea, Feb. 1 (Jiji Press)--A South Korean high court on Wednesday dismissed claims of ownership by a South Korean temple of a Buddhist statue that was stolen from a Japanese temple in 2012.

Daejeon High Court overturned a lower court ruling that recognized the South Korean temple's ownership of the statue, which was stolen from Kannonji Temple on the island of Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, and smuggled into South Korea by a South Korean group of thieves.

The South Korean temple, the plaintiff in this suit, expressed a willingness to appeal.

The Japanese government has been asking for the return of the statute, which is a designated cultural property of the southwestern Japan prefecture.

Claiming ownership of the statue, the South Korean temple launched a lawsuit against the South Korean government, arguing that the statue had been taken away by a group of pirates, many of whom were Japanese, in the 14th century.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press