A woman’s lifelong desire to preserve the home of her nobleman ancestor has ended her long search for a beneficiary to her family’s legacy.

Jeon Eun-ki, 77, and her 58-year-old daughter Kim Eun-hee, an Oriental painter, donated their ancestor’s tile-roofed hanok, or traditional Korean home, and the surrounding 101,500-square-meter (25-acre) plot of land in Icheon, Gyeonggi, last month to Seoul National University.

Jeon and Kim are descendants of Kim Jwa-geun (1797-1869), who served as a premier three times in the late Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

The aging house, registered as a cultural asset of Gyeonggi Province, is in the middle of renovations, and Kim Jwa-geun’s tombstone was recently placed in the courtyard. A personal note by King Gojong (1852-1919), better known as Heungseon Daewongun, is carved on the tombstone.

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