NATIONAL

[Diplomatic circuit] KOICA builds biggest national museum for Congo

By Jo He-rim
  • Published : Jun 17, 2019 - 17:43
  • Updated : Jun 17, 2019 - 17:43

The Korea International Cooperation Agency on Friday held a ceremony marking the completion of a national museum in Congo, a project that was begun in 2012.

The construction of the Congo National Museum in the capital city Kinshasa was funded by KOICA, a state-run aid organization. The museum will be the biggest museum in the country when it opens, KOICA said. 

The National Museum of Congo is set to officially open in November. (KOICA)
Artifacts are on display at the National Museum of Congo in capital Kinshasa. (KOICA)

The South Korean aid group said it has funded $21 million for the project that is aimed at preserving cultural artifacts and to encourage Congolese to forge a sense of national unity.

Some 300 people participated in the ceremony, including KOICA officials and Congolese ministries.

“(The museum) is built with the hopes that it will become a catalyst for the Congolese people’s unity and coexistence, by bringing back treasured values in the history and development of DR (Democratic Republic) Congo, such as harmony, and endorsement of diversity.” Baek Sook-hee, vice president of KOICA, said at Friday’s ceremony.

Baek also said the agency sought to reflect the traditional architectural styles of the region and also took sustainability and eco-friendliness into consideration in the new building.

“Two-hundred Koreans and 600 Congolese people have participated in the current project. I would like to thank the people who made this possible,” Baek added.

“There are about 40,000 artifacts stored at Institut des Musee Nationaux du Congo (National Museum of Congo), but their management was poor and the exhibitions were too small to fully show their brilliance,” said Culture and Arts Minister Astrid Madiya Ntumba, expressing appreciation to KOICA.

KOICA said the project in Congo is the first museum the organization has built and also the largest cultural development scheme in its history.

The National Museum of Congo is to officially open in November, after further preparation and operation on a trial basis, KOICA said.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)