Tòa án tối cao phán quyết Hàn Quốc phải trả lại tượng Phật cho Nhật Bản

bức tượng được đưa đến Tsushima từ nhiều thế kỷ trước đã bị bọn trộm đánh cắp và mang về Hàn Quốc vào năm 2012...
The Supreme Court (tòa án tối cao) of South Korea ruled on Thursday that a Buddhist statue (bức tượng) currently in government custody (giam giữ, cất giữ) must be returned to a Japanese temple (ngôi chùa), ending a decade-old dispute (tranh chấp) between temples in both countries.

South Korean thieves stole the 20-inch gilded bronze statue in 2012 from a Buddhist temple on Tsushima, a Japanese island halfway between the two countries. The incident (vụ việc) added yet another dispute to the contentious (gây tranh cãi) relations between the two countries, which have long bickered (tranh cãi) over historical grievances (mối bất bình).

The thieves were caught in South Korea while trying to sell the statue, which has been designated an important cultural asset (tài sản văn hóa) in Japan. But Buseoksa, a Buddhist temple in western Korea, claimed the artifact, saying it was made there in the 14th century. The temple won a court injunction in 2013 preventing its return to Japan.

A legal battle ensued between Buseoksa and the South Korean government. The Japanese temple, Kannonji, and Tokyo were not part of the lawsuit but have demanded the statue’s return. There was no evidence that the artifact (cổ vật) had been brought to Japan illicitly, Kannonji said.

... The statue represents a bodhisattva known as Kanzeon in Japan and Gwaneum in South Korea.

Even after the statue is returned to Japan, Buseoksa said that Buddhists in South Korea would continue their campaign to persuade Japan to return thousands of ancient artifacts that they said had been taken centuries ago by pirates (cướp biển) and invaders (kẻ xâm lược) from Japan.

source: nytimes,

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