Korean Friendship Bell is re-dedicated in San Pedro
After months of restoration work to repair damages, the Korean Friendship Bell and its elaborate, pagoda-like pavilion were re-dedicated during a ceremony Friday, January 10, 2014 in San Pedro.
The 17-ton bronze bell and the pavilion which houses it, were presented by the Republic of Korea to the United States to celebrate its bicentennial in 1976. According to the Los Angeles Times, many in Korea consider the bell to be the West-coast Statue of Liberty signifying the strong ties between the two nations.
Decades of exposure to harsh elements at its location overlooking the Pacific Ocean and age had damaged parts of the structure along with the mount holding the bell in place.
The South Korean government donated nearly $300,000 to help with the restoration, which cost about $365,000. Experts from Korea resurfaced the bell and repainted the pavilion to its original condition.
The LA Times has a good article about Chai Dong-hey, a craftsman who travelled from Korea to help with the restoration of the bell and whose mentor helped cast it nearly 40 years ago.