South Korea court rejects temple's claim to statue it says pirates pillaged
A South Korean court on Wednesday rejected a Buddhist temple's claim to a statue that it said Japanese pirates looted in the 14th century, clearing the
way for Japan to press for its return.
The 20-inch gilt bronze statue of a Buddhist Bodhisattva was stolen from a Japanese temple in 2012 by South Korean thieves, who were caught trying to sell it after returning home.
The Buseoksa Temple in South Korea filed a legal case in 2016 claiming ownership of the statue, which has been in the custody of the government, saying Japanese pirates had plundered it in the 14th century.
But a South Korean high court on Wednesday overturned a 2017 decision in favour of the temple and rejected its claim to the statue, saying the government, the defendant in the case, now had to return it in the proper way.