The country’s first private museum, Bohwagak, as it was originally named, was founded in 1938 by Jeon Hyung-pil, a wealthy collector of Korean cultural objects during the 1910-45 Japanese colonial rule over Korea to prevent them from d ‘to be expelled from the country. The name of the museum was changed to Kansong Art Museum, adopting the pseudonym Jeon, after his death in 1962.
The Seongbuk-gu Museum in Seoul has been closed since 2014, with its exhibits at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul. The last exhibition organized by the museum dates back to 2018 at the Daegu Art Museum.
âWe are planning to open the museum for a short time next year to remember Bohwagak. We have closed the museum for too long, âa museum official told the Korea Herald. “The schedule will be presented early next year.”
Construction of a separate storage facility in front of the museum building is in its final stages and is expected to be completed early next year. Bohwagak’s renovation will begin after artifacts stored in the building have been moved to the new storage facility, according to the museum.
The storage facility is being constructed with funding of 4.4 billion won ($ 3.74 million) from the central government and the Seoul Metropolitan Government in recognition of the museum’s contribution to Korea’s cultural heritage. It is unprecedented for a private museum to receive public funding for the construction of a storage facility.
The museum, which houses some 5,000 artefacts including 12 national treasures, has encountered financial difficulties, particularly with the payment of inheritance taxes.
The museum is home to Hunminjeongeum Haerye, designated National Treasure No.70.
Jeon found the book in the 1940s in an old house in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province.
The copy is an invaluable piece of cultural heritage that shows why King Sejong created the Korean writing system for the people and provides instructions on its use.
The book was inscribed in UNESCO’s Memory of the World in October 1997.
By Park Yuna ([email protected])