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Monday, April 22, 2024

Statue of King Sejong the Great erected at LA City College

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Lee Seok, the grandson of Emperor Gojong of the Korean Empire, and Andrew Lee, a second-generation Korean-American businessman, who is also his adopted son and designated imperial heir, will unveil the statue of King Sejong the Great at Los Angeles City College (LACC). Emphasizing the continuation of the traditions of the Joseon Dynasty, the two said they would promote Korean history and culture to the United States and beyond.

According to Imperial Family Company (CEO Andrew Lee-imperialfamily.com) and LACC, Mr. Lee toured the finished statue of King Sejong the Great that will be installed at LACC on the 6th.

Mr. Lee, who arrived in Los Angeles two weeks ago, reunited with Andrew Lee for the first time since the pandemic. With Andrew Lee’s support, LACC has been working on the statue of King Sejong for the past year and plans to install it at the entrance of Jefferson Hall plaza as early as June. The college explained that all there’s left to do is get the final approval of the LACC Board of Trustees.

The statue of King Sejong will be 8 feet tall (3 feet of the marble base and 5 feet of the bronze or other metal upper body) and 4 feet wide. The statue was created by Amar Studio, which has worked on sculptures for Game of Thrones. It reportedly cost a total of $50,000 to create.

“After receiving LACC’s request for support, the two Lees donated $100,000 to help build the statue of King Sejong the Great, an iconic figure in Korean history and culture,” said an Imperial Family Company representative.

In April of last year, the two also donated $100,000 to LACC as Korean language education funding.

“This is the first time a statue of King Sejong is being erected in a U.S. educational setting,” said Dr. Mickey Hong, director of LACC’s Korean language program. “The $100,000 will be used to fund scholarships and cultural events for the 1,000 students learning Korean at LACC. The statue of King Sejong the Great will help to further increase interest in the Korean language and Korea itself.”

Mr. Lee held a ceremony in Beverly Hills on April 10, 2018 to crown Andrew Lee as Crown Prince. In April of 2020, Andrew Lee donated $100,000 to the Korean American Association of Los Angeles to help Korean Americans struggling with COVID-19.

Recently, Mr. Lee created the Joseon Empire (joseon.cloud), an online virtual country to promote the Joseon Dynasty, Korean history and culture.

During his visit to LA Koreatown on April 6, Andrew Lee said, “Korean history has great significance from Gojoseon to Joseon. I created Joseon Empire to inherit the symbolism and identity of Joseon as a duty and responsibility given to me by Mr. Lee.” He explained, “We want to share the history and culture of Joseon online and create a world that everyone wants.”

Joseon Empire will also issue its own cryptocurrency, Mooncoin. “People who access Joseon Empire, a virtual country operated by a blockchain system, will receive a ‘citizen’s card’ and can use MoonCoin to conduct online business and sign various contracts,” Andrew Lee added.

Meanwhile, Andrew Lee (Korean name Lee Sang-min, 39) was born in Indiana. After attending Purdue University and the State University of New York, he started an internet business in his 20s and became a successful virtual private network (VPN) provider. Currently, he is the CEO of Imperial Family Company, which operates an IT company including software development, a cultural and sports business, and an investor in development companies.


BY HYUNGJAE KIM [support@koreadaily.com]