The Korea Herald


Hangeul Museum to open next year

By Korea Herald

Published : May 13, 2013 - 20:36

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The Hangeul Museum will open adjacent to the National Museum in Seoul next year to boost public awareness of, and conduct research into, the alphabet often referred to as “scientific” and easy to learn.

The construction of the 11,322 square-meter museum in Yongsan, which began in 2011 with a 32.6 billion won budget, is now 76 percent complete.

The first floor of the museum, a building with three stories above ground and one underground, will have an archive and a lecture room alongside a cafeteria. Regular exhibition rooms, where the past, present and future of Hangeul are on view, are located on the second floor. On the third floor will be rooms for special exhibitions and training, where children can learn about the scientific structure of Hangeul by comparing it with the writing systems of other countries. Visitors will also be able to “play” with Hangeul through paper crafts, puzzles and dance, among other activities.
An artist’s drawing of the Hangeul Museum which will be completed next year. (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) An artist’s drawing of the Hangeul Museum which will be completed next year. (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)

The museum has already secured 7,450 items through donations and another 1,176 items through public acquisition.

An advisory committee kicked off last Thursday consisting of 30 experts in Hangeul as well as Korean culture and history. The committee members, appointed by Culture Minister Yoo Jin-ryong, are headed by former Yonsei University professor Hong Yun-pyo and include fashion designer Lie Sang-bong and National Museum director Kim Young-na. They are to advise on the composition of the archive, educational activities, and the direction of future exhibitions.

“We are hoping that the museum will bring people together to achieve cultural convergence and bring about ‘cultural prosperity’ in the country for the next generation,” the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said in a press release.

The Hangeul Museum is part of the government’s effort to boost Hangeul awareness and usage, which is, today, said to be heavily influenced by English and so-called cyber language.

The National Institute of the Korean Language has announced a set of guidelines to promote Hangeul overseas, while the King Sejong Institute, a government-run Korean language institute, is to hold intensive training sessions. Hangeulnal, or Hangeul promulgation day, which falls on Oct. 9, has been redesignated as a national holiday from this year and the authorities are considering holding a related week-long festival around the day.

By Bae Ji-sook (