Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Septuagenarian is Namdaemun arsonist

Police escort: The suspect (above & below) being taken away by
the authorities



Who would have thought that the Namdaemun fire starter would be an elderly man in his 70s? Well, the man confessed to the authorities that he set the historic landmark ablaze on Sunday night.

Collapsed roof: Flowers left outside the
burnt South Gate


When police raided the man’s home late Monday, they discovered a bag similar to the one describe by witnesses, a bottle of paint thinner and a ladder.

Police apprehended the suspect, whose last name is Chae, on suspicions of setting fire to Namdaemun.

Apparently, Chae has committed arson before (!) when he set ablaze a section of the former royal palace, Changgyeong in April 2006. At that time, the old man was livid about the alleged wrong handling of compensation for his land, which was claimed for a housing development project.

Sad New Year: Koreans are shocked and in
disbelief of what happened


A letter written by Chae was confiscated by police on Monday. Apparently, he set the fire to Korea’s National Treasure No. 1 because he wanted to attract attention to the unsettled compensation for his land.

The landmark, officially called Sungnyemun, or "gate of revering decorum" was the southern gate of the walls surrounding Seoul during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). It stood tall through the years: from the Japanese invasions in the 16th century to the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Restoration needed: The roof is gone, but the walls are still
standing strong


Today, because of an old man’s dissatisfaction with the system, all that’s left of the nation’s historic landmark is rubble.

Source & Pics credit: Digital Chosunilbo & The Korea Times, stoo.com & Yonhap News

Related:
Korea’s National Treasure No. 1 destroyed by fire

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5 Comments:

fraulein said...

Unhappy abt compensation amt ?
Sounds straight out of a drama series to me ; P

Cio said...

mebbe they should make a movie out of it :p

i know some people like that... they tend to be very bitter and stubborn. cant talk to them :S

kpop_rub said...

wow his hair is reaaaally white

who? said...

all he did was to attract attention to himself... what a laughable excuse

ladida said...

wow. I'm appalled that somebody would do smthg like this. This is truly a shameful act. But I have to say that the most shocking thing to me is the absence of security guards to patrol the perimeter of Korea's #1 historic landmark. Shame.

 

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