Korean Royal Books Looted by French Soldiers in the 19th Century Get Colorful Welcome

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SEOUL (AP).- South Korea celebrated the return of nearly 300 royal books looted by French soldiers in the 19th century with solemn ceremonies Saturday bringing alive the color and pageantry of a bygone royal age. Bearers dressed in bright red costumes of the Joseon Dynasty carried a palanquin containing some of the books to central Seoul’s Gyeongbok Palace to the piercing sound of traditional horns and gongs. An official took the books wrapped in red cloth and placed them near an alter with another set for a Confucian enshrinement ceremony carried out in a square on the palace grounds complete with offerings of food, incense and drink. A report of the books’ return was read aloud to surrounding spirits. “It is very meaningful that valuable