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Kansong Art Museum to open for first time in seven years

Bohwagak of the Kansong Art Museum (Cultural Heritage Administration)
Bohwagak of the Kansong Art Museum (Cultural Heritage Administration)

Kansong Art Museum -- South Korea’s first private museum and home to some 5,000 artifacts including 10 state-designated national treasures -- will open its doors for the first time in seven years on April 16.

A new exhibition at Bohwagak, the museum’s original building, coincides with the recent completion of a new storage facility on the museum grounds. The exhibition will showcase 44 artifacts from the museum’s collection at Bohwagak, which was listed as a state-registered cultural heritage in 2019.

The museum, Bohwagak, as it was initially named, was founded in 1938 by Jeon Hyung-pil, a wealthy collector of Korean cultural artifacts during Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule. He collected numerous significant artifacts and art to prevent them from being taken away from the country. The name of the museum was changed to Kansong Art Museum, adopting Jeon’s penname, after his death in 1962.

The separate storage facility in front of Bohwagak was built with 4.4 billion won ($3.6 million) in funding from the central government and the Seoul Metropolitan Government in recognition of the museum’s contribution to Korean cultural heritage.

The museum plans to move the artifacts currently stored at Bohwagak to the newly built storage facility. This would be followed by a restoration of the original building, according to the museum.

By Park Yuna (
Korea Herald Youtube