While many of you can speak with greater authority than myself on the merits of good wood, according to the Joongang Daily Korean Gumgang pines are “praised for their resiliency, straightness and high density.” And Russian wood? Well, it sucks.
That unnecessary assessment by the Joongang aside, I do agree that it’s improper to use non-Korean timber to restore Sungnyemun –the country’s number one cultural asset that was torched by an arsonist back in 2008. (Though restoring it with North Korean wood chopped down via a U.S. aerial armada escort might be a nice symbolic gesture)
Police last week raided a Gangwon lumber company on suspicion that the wood used to rebuild Sungnyemun hailed from Russian stock rather than the praiseworthy Korean groves, as was promised in the deal.
The article makes no mention of it, but I imagine they will bring in DNA experts to assess the origin of the wood. The wrong findings could prove grave for Sin Eung-soo, the chief carpenter assigned to oversee the restoration.
The intellectual crime division of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, which is in charge of the case, vowed to conduct a thorough investigation, emphasizing the significance and potential far-reaching consequences of the alleged haphazard restoration.
They sentenced the guy that burned Sungnyemun down to 10 years in the pen –I wonder what the penalty for restoring it with the wrong wood will be?