For those unaware, Namdaemun was set on fire just over a week ago. The entire incident was suspected to have originated from an arsonist, which proved to be true soon afterwards. A 70 year old man, known as "Chae" confessed to lighting Namdaemun on fire with paint thinner and a lighter.
Why the heck did this elderly man set the structure on fire? Well, his beef was about how he was not properly compensated by delevopers in the sale of a plot of land he owned. His cries for help went unnoticed so he took matters into his own hands!
Koreans are a very patriotic bunch, and to see their #1 National Treasure burn to the ground must have been devastating! They are planning to rebuild and restore the gate, but it obviously won't be the same. Let's take a look at some pictures of Namdaemun I've snapped up in the past...
...during the daytime (check out my post on Namdaemun Market)
...a few during the night...(from my trip to City Hall at night)
Pictures of the fire...here it is set ablaze with the wooden structure at the top crumbling to the ground (picture credit to the AP):
...and the aftermath (NY Times)!
Here's a clip of the inferno...
For those still in Korea...what is the general mood about the destruction of this national treasure?