The Korean government launched an art bank to better manage the state-owned art collection and to run a proper loan system.
“The government art bank will manage the art collection professionally and systematically. By doing so, I hope we can improve the quality of the government art collection and stimulate the art market,” said Culture Minister Choe Kwang-shik at the launching event at the National Museum of Contemporary Art on Wednesday.
With the establishment of the art bank, all purchases and loans of artworks by the government will be made by the art bank, which will then distribute them among government agencies.
“Some of the purchases were made unprofessionally by government agencies and some were mismanaged, so we decided to establish a proper art support system,” said a ministry official.
Ownership of some important pieces was transferred to the Culture Ministry, to be managed by the art bank.
The ministry evaluated a total of 3,390 artworks from April to July and registered 2,594 artworks as state-owned pieces. Of them, 1,283 pieces that need “professional management,” including painter Kim Heung-soo’s “Yu Gwan-soon,” will be under special management and protection by the ministry.
The ministry plans to purchase 500 million won ($449,000) worth of artwork by the end of the year. A government art collection committee comprising 13 members including government officials and art experts will decide the types of artworks and artists, according to the official.
By Lee Woo-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)