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Ill-fated turtle ship replica sold for shockingly low W1.5mBy Jung Min-kyung
Published : May 18, 2023 - 15:32
An ill-fated replica of Korea's 16th century turtle-shaped warship was sold for 1.5 million won ($1,100), less than 0.1 percent of the money spent for its creation, officials at Geoje, South Gyeongsang Province, said Thursday.
According to Geoje, the sale of the recreated Geobukseon took place on Tuesday during the eighth round of bidding, starting from the initial bidding price of 117.5 million won in February last year.
Built in 2010 with 2 billion won of taxpayers’ money, the wooden vessel had never been sailed or utilized in any capacity. The project had been plagued by controversies surrounding the unauthentic materials used and flawed design. The city government had originally planned to use the ship as a tour boat.
The contract between Geoje and the ship’s manufacturer required the warship to be made of Korean wood to add to its authenticity and historical significance, but police found a year after its completion that mostly imported wood had been used. The CEO of the manufacturer was later arrested and tried on charges of fraud.
The original turtle warships, designed by Adm. Yi Sun-sin, were employed during the 1592-98 Imjin War and played a significant role in defending the invading Japan’s naval forces.
Geoje had to abandon its plan for the ship, as it started to leak. It was left standing on land in front of Geoje Shipbuilding Marine Cultural Center for years.
The successful bidder’s identity is unknown. The person must pay the full amount in 10 days following the bid to finalize the purchase. The buyer would then have to move the 100-ton vessel which measures 25.6 meters long, 8.67 meters wide and 6.06 meters tall out of its current location.
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