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sexta-feira, 24 de julho de 2015

National Museum Gyeongbokgung Palace -- 국립박물관은

When Japan was defeated in the Second World War, Korea regained its independence. Upon liberation in 1945, Korea took over the Joseon Government-General Museum and renamed it the “National Museum” (國立博物館). At that time, the museum’s organization and exhibitions were insignificant compared to what exists today. Nevertheless, the museum played a significant role in restoring the damaged nation’s cultural pride and correcting the false historical images of Korea.

Immediately after Korea’s liberation, the National Museum of Anthropology (國立民族博物館) was built on Mt. Namsan. After the Korean War broke out in 1950, the National Museum of Anthropology was incorporated into the National Museum in order to simplify administration for the government.

Meanwhile, during the Korean War, the National Museum and its 20,000 artifacts and works of art were moved to Busan, the nation’s temporary capital. Everything was returned to Seoul in 1953. The Deoksugung Palace site was then taken over by the Management Bureau of Imperial Household Property (皇室財産事務總局), and the museum jointly occupied the Namsan Branch building and the National Museum of Anthropology.

The National Museum was severely weakened by the devastation of the Korean War. Kim Chaewon, the director of the museum, asked President Syngman Rhee to provide an appropriate space for the museum to preserve and exhibit its collections. Rhee ordered part of Deoksugung Palace, which had been destroyed during the war, to be repaired and used as the new National Museum, which reopened to the public in June 1955.

In 1972, twenty-seven years after its inauguration, the National Museum finally took possession of its own building, which was located inside Gyeongbokgung Palace. Designed and built by the Cultural Heritage Administration, the 14,000 square-meter building was constructed as a replica of a national treasure-level wooden building. 

The museum was officially renamed “The National Museum of Korea” (國立中央博物館) at this time.In 1986, a project began to transform the former Joseon Government- General building into a museum, with an initial investment of KRW 27.7 billion. This museum opened on August 21, 1986, with about 7,500 relics on display in twenty exhibition rooms. 

New equipment included special lighting, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and fire and anti-theft systems in every gallery and storage room.Some of the new museum’s special exhibitions included “Korean Painting: 1850–1950” (1987), “The Beauty of Korea: Traditional Costumes, Ornaments, and Cloth Wrappings” (1988),“Buddhist Sculpture of the Three Kingdoms Period”(1990), and “Special Exhibition of the Paintings of Kim Hong-do” (1995). In particular, “The Beauty of Korea,” which was held during the 1988 Seoul Olympics, won universal acclaim.During the 1990s, the NMK began a prolific cultural exchange with its overseas counterparts. In 1990, a Korean gallery opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, followed by another at the Victoria and Albert Museum in England. 

Korean cultural properties have since been displayed in museums throughout the world, including the USA, Japan, France, the UK, Spain, Belgium, and New Zealand.The NMK’s relocation to the former Joseon General-Government building stirred a considerable amount of controversy, because many Koreans saw that particular building as a symbol of colonialism.Since the public was so opposed to the display of precious Korean properties inside this building, the Korean government decided to demolish the building and build a new museum at a different location. 

The chosen site was Yongsan Family Park in Seoul. The proposed project would require about ten years to be completed, so in December 1996, the NMK was temporarily moved to the renovated Social Education Center in Gyeongbokgung Palace.Special exhibitions during this period include “Korean Ancient Pottery” (1997), “The Tiger in Korean Art” (1998), “Beauteous Kumgangsan, Diamond Mountain” (1999), “New Millennium Special Exhibition: Hangeul, the Korean Alphabet” (2000), “Genre Paintings of the Joseon Period” (2002), and “Unified Silla” (2003). 

More than 12,000 relics were donated to the NMK between 2000 and 2004, confirming the positive response of the Korean people toward the museum’s relocation to Yongsan.On October 28, 2005, the NMK reopened in its new permanent home in Yongsan, on a site of 307,227 m² (building area: 45,438 m² ). Yongsan, the geographic heart of Seoul, is backed by the expansive Mt. Namsan and fronted by the Hangang. Yongsan is also the true cultural center of Seoul, sitting just south of the five palaces of the Joseon Dynasty and the War Memorial, and north of the National Library and the Seoul Arts Center.

The new museum, boasting more extensive and convenient facilities than its predecessors, attracted more than 100,000 visitors in its first three days, reaching one million in attendance after 44 days, and ten million in about three and a half years. In 2009, the NMK attracted 2,730,204 visitors, which ranked as the highest attendance figure in Asia and 10th worldwide (according to the Art Newspaper).

Reborn as a “cultural complex” that all Koreans can enjoy, the new NMK has updated its mission to not only to preserve and display relics, but also to host a variety of programs and cultural events in conjunction with the Children’s Museum and permanent exhibitions. Beginning in 2008, the NMK offered free admission to all of its permanent exhibits, thereby enhancing the popularity of the museum and altering the perception that museums are for one-time visits only. 

The NMK also reinforced its numerous exchange programs with overseas museums, holding special internationally themed exhibitions, such as “The Glory of Persia” (2008), “Egypt, the Great Civilization: Pharaohs and Mummies” (2009), “Korean Museums: 100 Years in Remembrance” (a 100th anniversary celebration of Korean Museums) (2009), and “Gods, Heroes and Mortals: Art and Life in Ancient Greece” (2010).

fonte: @edisonmariotti #edisonmariotti

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