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04 May 2023, 11:35

Painting from Silla-era tomb returns for public viewing after 9 years


SEOUL, 4 May (BelTA -Yonhap News). - A heavenly horse painting, a national treasure believed to date back to the fifth to sixth century, returned for public display Thursday after nine years.

The "Cheonma" painting is on display as part of a special exhibition of artifacts unearthed from a royal tomb from the Silla Kingdom (B.C. 57-A.D. 935) at the Gyeongju National Museum.

The museum held the exhibition, titled "Return of Cheonma," to mark the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the Cheonma Tomb in Gyeongju, an ancient tourist city located 277 kilometers south of Seoul. The painting was last seen by the public in 2014.

The painting, created on a saddle flap made of white birch tree bark, depicts Cheonma, a mystical creature in Korean folklore resembling a winged horse. The creature is believed to connect heaven and earth, traveling between the two domains.

It was designated as a national treasure due to its well-preserved condition.

Another painting, also titled "Cheonma," discovered alongside the well-known national treasure, will also be displayed during the exhibition.

But the two paintings will be shown for a limited time, respectively, from May 4 to June 11 and from June 12 to July 16, due to their fragility.

The exhibition will also include photographs of various artifacts taken by photographer Gu Bon-chang, as well as stunning gold artifacts excavated from the tomb.

Over 10,000 artifacts, including four national treasures and six treasures, were discovered during the excavation conducted from April to December 1973.

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