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Spaniard makes national museum chief short list

A former Spanish museum director is among the three contenders short-listed to head the state-run National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, a local daily reported Monday.

Chosun Ilbo revealed that Bartomeu Mari, former director of the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, has made it to the final list along with two other Koreans.

If selected, Mari will be the first foreigner to be director of the public art museum in Korea. 

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA)
The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA)

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, which oversees the museum, sought nominations for the position this year after its former director, Chung Hyung-min, resigned last year over an unfair intervention in the museum’s recruitment process to hire her acquaintance.

The first open call closed as the ministry said it didn’t find the right candidates.
It announced the second public call in August, to which a total of 22 art experts, including 12 foreigners, applied.

Mari had worked with the MMCA and Korean art institutions before.

He held a joint exhibition with the MMCA in celebration of the 60th diplomatic relations between Korea and Spain in 2010. He was one of the jury members of the renowned Hermes art prize in Korea in 2011. He attended an international art forum co-organized by the Samsung Museum of Art, Leeum, and Gwangju Biennale Foundation last year.

By Lee Woo-young (


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