No, not the Japanese military. Seodaemun is going to be raised from the dead (like a zombie*).
The ancient gate "Doneuimun," which was removed in 1915 during the Japanese colonial occupation, will be rebuilt in central Seoul by 2013, Seoul Metropolitan Government said yesterday. The landmark gate, also known as Seodaemun, is one of the four major ancient gates in Seoul. The city plans to rebuild the gate, which will measure 12 meters in width and 12 meters in height, based on thorough historical research with experts and scholars.If anyone knows what a 'prospect zone' is, or why anyone would want to put such a 'special zone' in a military-controlled area, I'd be curious to know (perhaps it's a 'prospects (are high you'll be shot if you wander into the wrong area) zone').
The city also plans to build a 16,666-square-meter "historical and cultural" park around the gate to provide citizens with another spot for leisure activities.
The city plans to refurbish the areas near the four gates and make special zones - a "performance and arts zone" near Doneuimun, a "fashion zone" near Heunginjimun, a "festival zone" near Sungnyemun and a "prospect zone" near Sukjeongmun.
The city also plans to restore seven sections (2,175 meters) of the fortress wall of Seoul, which stretches from Mount Bukak, Mount Naksan, Mount Namsan and Mount Inwang, by 2013. The fortress wall was built during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) to safeguard the capital from invasions.I should probably note that a 'relic' is something old, not something new built in an old style. What with Gwanghwamun, Namdaemun, and Seodaemun being rebuilt, by 2013, Seoul will have three brand new ancient gates! And one gets the idea that the fortress walls and gates (all of which can be seen here) are being rebuilt simply to be able to write 'UNESCO World Heritage' on Seoul's tourist maps and brochures.
When the restoration work on Doneuimun and the fortress wall is competed in 2013, the city plans to seek the registering of the fortress wall on the UNESCO World Heritage list. "With the restoration of Doneuimun, we will have all four ancient gates that are key relics of the fortress wall," Kwon Hyeok-so, a senior official in the city's culture division.
"Seoul's unique cultural completiveness [sic] will be further strengthened with the revival of the fortress wall, which is one of the city's representative historic symbols."
"My, but what large brand new ancient gates you have!"All brought to you by the Seoul City Government, who are also responsible for reducing Seoul City Hall from three dimensions to two:
"All the better to culturally compete with other cities, my dear."
Here are photos of the gate, old and new, and a map of the area (click to enlarge):
I get the feeling traffic will be a problem, being able to fit only one lane through the gate's doors.
Hopefully the solution won't be to put an overpass over the gate, like at Dongnimmun...
*Seoul, in that case, is filled with several 'zombie' palaces (Gyeongbok, Changgyeong, and Gyeonghui); I should note that, as he notes in his book Pop Goes Korea, Mark Russell also used the term 'Zombie Wave' to describe the Korean Wave, which can not be said to be dying because, he argued, it never really existed in the first place (outside of media reports and enthusiastic press releases)[Update: see here]; in being both alive and dead, it is similar to a zombie. (Someone really needs to make a zombie film of zombie K-wave stars terrorizing Seoul and feasting on people's brains, but having to leave the offices of newspapers and the national assembly disappointed and hungry.)