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Posted : 2012-02-08 17:02
Updated : 2012-02-08 17:02

Swedish Museum to open Korean hall

By Kwaak Je-yup

Ostasiatiska museet (The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities) is opening a hall entirely dedicated to Korean artifacts Saturday in its building in Stockholm, the Korea Foundation (KF) announced Wednesday.

The cultural affiliate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has worked with the Swedish museum for three years to culminate in this brand new space dedicated to Korean heritage.

From its own collection of 350 objects, about 160 will be on display, on a rotating basis. The emphasis during the inaugural exhibition will be on the art of porcelain.

Hwang Doo-jin, an architect renowned for “hanok,” or traditional Korean house, residence restorations in the central Seoul area of Bukchon, took charge of redesigning the 100-square-meter space. He will attend the opening ceremony alongside King Carl XVI Gustaf, his wife Queen Silvia, and other dignitaries.

The Swedish connection to ancient Korean cultures has personal significance to the king. In 1926, 33 years before the formation of bilateral recognition and ties, his late grandfather Gustaf VI Adolf participated in an excavation project of an ancient tomb site in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, records show.

Stockholm also houses another museum called Hallwylska museet, a private collection of the Hallwyl family with some of the rarest bronze works of the Three Kingdom era (57 B.C.-A.D. 668).

KF has contributed around $350,000 to the Ostasiatiska museet over three years, as part of its globe-spanning effort to increase the level of awareness for traditional Korean culture. From Saturday, there will be 23 locations in 10 countries with dedicated exhibition spaces for this purpose, foundation officials said.

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