|The second-floor study of former President Choi Kyu-hah. (Yonhap News)|
A house where the late President Choi Kyu-hah resided before his death will be opened to the public.
The Seoul city government said that the house registered as Cultural Asset No. 413 will open its doors to the public starting Saturday as a site for history education.
The two-story house built in 1972 was the residence of Choi from 1973, when he was appointed prime minister, to 1976, and then he spent his later years there from 1980 to 2006, when he passed away.
The house has about 500 items used by Choi and his wife just as they were.
In the first-floor antechamber, there is a 50-year-old electric fan, a mounted air conditioner, which his eldest son brought from the United States, and a 30-year-old sofa and a table.
The small bedroom on the first story and the study on the second story have a sewing machine, Korean traditional clothes, tea cups, a letter of appointment as president of Korea, passports and other items.
A room on the second floor displays Choi’s suits, shoes, canes, lighters, and the former first lady’s coin purse.
Choi took over as acting president following the assassination of President Park Chung-hee in October 1979, and was elected as the 10th president in December in the same year by a rubber stamp council of deputies. But he was ousted in August 1980 by a military coup, then lived in the house out of the public eye until he died on Oct. 22, 2006.
The municipal government bought the house from his surviving family in July 2009, and did construction work to allow its display to the public from April 2010 to June 2012.
The house will open four times a day and visitors are guided by a docent for reasons of preservation.
To view the house, make reservations at yeyak.seoul.go.kr.
By Chun Sung-woo (firstname.lastname@example.org)