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Posted : 2014-01-23 17:02
Updated : 2014-01-23 17:02

Ex-Louvre director calls for 'cultural cooperation'

Henry Loyrette
By Baek Byung-yeul

Former Louvre Museum director Henry Loyrette called for robust cooperation between Korea and France through "cultural exchange" during a press conference in Seoul, Tuesday.

Loyrette was recently appointed as the French head of a joint committee to prepare an event for the 130th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, which will kick off next year. Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho will lead the Korean side.

The "2015-2016 France-Korea Year" will begin in France with an exhibition of Korean cultural content. French art, performances and music will be organized for Korea beginning in the first half of 2016.

In Seoul to meet with the Korean organizing team, the 62-year-old said he could see many cultural similarities between the two countries.

"It is pleasure to take this role as Korea and France are among the few countries showing their innovative and dynamic cultural inventions around the world," Loyrette said at the French Embassy, Tuesday.

"Culture is a spiritual tool to integrate society and a fountainhead to boost economy. We will adhere closely to this perspective for the event."

He added that the event will be a great chance for the two countries to forge a deeper relationship.

In that spirit, he hinted that cultural fusions could be in store.

"I think adding traditional Korean music to baroque music or performing ‘pansori' or ‘changgeuk' under the direction of a French director are worth consideration," Loyrette said. "Pansori" refers to Korea's drum-backed traditional narrative songs and "changgeuk" is traditional Korean opera.

Loyrette, who served as a director for the Orsay Museum from 1994 to 2001 and for the Louvre from 2001 to 2013, added that more detailed plans for the event would be announced in October, following two rounds of meetings between the respective committees.



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