What does it take to be considered a World Heritage?
In China, they proudly boast about their Great Wall which has been recognized as one of the 7 Wonders of the World and also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.
In Egypt, the tomb of a pharaoh has also been recognized a a world heritage site. The Giza pyramid in Egypt was the world’s tallest construction done by the largest number of people in ancient history. This pyramid has also been recognized as one of the 7 Wonders of the World.
In Korea, Jikji has also been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage. But compared to these other places that are grand in size and construction, Jikji is just a small book. So why has it been recognized by UNESCO?
Jikji, was the first book to be printed using movable metal type technology (78 years earlier than Gutenberg’s Bible). This technology has been recognized to be a prime factor in bringing a revolutionary change to how books were printed. Because of this, it has been given the recognition of a world heritage not because of the sheer size of the object, but because of the huge impact it has had on how books are printed not just in Korea, but even in other places around the world.
As of 2015, Korea has 11 world heritages, with Jikji being one of them.
Learn more about these kinds of world heritages through VANK and help promote this information to others!