The bronze statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin that was recently taken away from Gwanghwamun Square for repair and will now be replaced with a cover in the image of the admiral himself, Seoul City said.
The replacement was carried out on Nov. 21 late in the evening, rather than the daytime, for public convenience, Seoul City said.
The absent space on Nov. 14 had been temporarily covered up with planks with the message saying, “Now changing attire.” The message garnered favorable responses from the public, such as “original,” “fun,” and “befitting a design-sensitive Seoul.”
Despite the positive response, Seoul City said the cover had to be replaced with a design of Admiral Yi because the statue serves as a symbolic landmark of the nation’s capital and would be widely missed by the citizens.
A Seoul City official noted that the significance of replacing the initial plain cover is to allow the public to see the admiral, even during the refurbishment period, in observance of Yi’s wish – “Don’t let anyone know of my death.”
During the repair period, Seoul City has put a special LED program called “I, too, am Admiral Yi Sun-sin” on show at Gwanghwamun Square. Visitors to the site can also try on a suit of Yi’s armor to get a sense of what it must have been like to be a warrior in his time.
The bronze statue of Admiral Yi is currently undergoing sanding treatment at a repair factory in Icheon City, Gyeonggi Province. The project is being managed by experts, and the statue will undergo a scientific and systematic repair process. Seoul City confirmed that a strong and refurbished Yi is expected to reappear in his original spot on Dec. 22.