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Paintings and Scriptures From The Goryeo Dynasty Were Named National Treasures By The Cultural Heritage Administration

by Ma Elena Garcia / Jan 14, 2016 12:24 PM EST
Buddha statue. (Photo by Dea Picture Library/Getty Images)

The centuries-old artifacts from the Goryeo Dynasty, which incluldes paintings and scriptures, have been named national treasures, the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) said Thursday.

Alpha Omega Art noted that the Cultural Heritage Administration designated three rare Buddhist paintings and two Buddhist scriptures made during the era of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) as national treasures.

According to Korea Herald, the Cultural Heritage Administration also elevated the Buddhist statue from the Silla Kingdom to the highest rank in the National Treasure category. Reports indicate that the statue was recognized for its highly sophisticated proportion and shape and its potential to be used as an illustration in the study of ancient Buddhist sculptures.

The statue is a symbol of the shift in style of Buddha artifacts between the Silla Kingdom and China's Tang Dynasty. 

"The form of Buddha holding the left forefinger in the right hand placed in front of his chest was believed to have arrived on the Korean Peninsula in the mid-ninth century, but this sculpture shows that the style was already in use in the mid-eighth century," CHA researchers said in a press release.

The paintings and scriptures were among several uncovered artifacts presumed to have been used in ancient Buddhist ceremonies nearly a millennium ago.

Yonhap News reported that the artifacts were discovered in the Goryeo temple back in 2012 during a field survey.

Buddhism thrived during the Goryeo Dynasty, during which it was named as the official state religion.

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