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Ten-Story Pagoda of Gyeongcheonsa Temple
SN36
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

It follows the architectural style of dapo or multi cluster bracket system, found in Goryeo wooden structures. It duly represents Buddhist doctrine and faith. The base has a cross-shaped plan and is carved with figures of lions, arhats and scenes from Xiyouji( Journey to the West), a classic novel based on the pilglimage of a Chinese Buddhist monk, Xuanzang, to India. This pagoda is a stone version of wooden pagodas, each story consisting of body, banister, and roof. The first to fourth stories are decorated with 16 scenes of Buddha's assemblies, while each side of the fifth to tenth stories features carvings of three or five Buddhas. As the original appearance of the top part is unknown, the pagoda was topped with a roof when it was restored. It is designated as Korean National Treasure No. 86.

History of the Object
This ten-story marble pagoda was originally erected at the Gyeongcheonsa Temple in 1348, the fourth year of King Chungmok of Goryeo. In 1907, the pagoda was illegally smuggled out of the country by a Japanese court official, Tanaka Koken, but in 1918 it was fortunately returned by the efforts of British and American journalists, E. Bethell and H. Hulbert. In 1960, it was restored at Gyeongbokgung Palace. Conservation proved difficult, however, because of acid rain and weathering, so it was dismantled again in 1995. When the National Museum of Korea was relocated to its new premises in 2005, this pagoda was restored in the corridor of the museum, the "Path to History."

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Marble 
Measurements
Height about 1350 cm.  
Creator name
unknown 
Creator date
unknown 
Where it was made
Gyeongcheonsa Temple site, Mt. Busosan, Gwangdeok-myeon, Gaepung, Gyeonggi-do province, Korea(North) 
Geography
Korea 
Time period
AD 14th century ~ AD 14th century 
Creation date
14th Century; 1348, the 4th year of King Chungmok ; Goryeo Period 
Function
Pagoda 
Acquisition
After illegally smuggled to Japan in 1907, the pagoda was returned to Korea in 1918. In 1960, it was restored at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul and later, relocated to the National Museum of Korea in Yongsan in 2005. 
Copyright
National Museum of Korea 
Acknowledgements
National Museum of Korea, National Museum of Korea Digital Museum 2.0, Cultural Foundation of National Museum of Korea, Seoul, 2007 
Owner
National Museum of Korea 
Museum
National Museum of Korea 
Credit line
National Museum of Korea 

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