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NMK aims to finish classifying, examining Lee Kun-hee donations by 2025

An installation view of “A Great Cultural Legacy: Masterpieces From the Bequest of the Late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee” at the National Museum of Korea held in July (NMK)
An installation view of “A Great Cultural Legacy: Masterpieces From the Bequest of the Late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee” at the National Museum of Korea held in July (NMK)


The National Museum of Korea announced Thursday that it will complete classifying and examining the artworks bequeathed by the late Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee by 2025.

The announcement came after the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced Tuesday that nearly all of the works of art bequeathed Lee would be housed together at the “Lee Kun-hee Donation Hall,” which is to open in Songhyeon-dong, Seoul, in 2027.

The museum added that it will transfer all the donated items to the new “Lee Kun-hee Donation Hall” by 2027.

The NMK received 21,600 items across various genres as a donation. According to the museum, Lee’s recent donation accounts for around 60 percent of the all items it has received from donors since 1946.

The museum explained that the classification process will be complete by 2023 based on scientific examination and analysis to prove the worth of the items. It also added that the NMK has already secured the budget and hired staff for this process.

A more in-depth examination conducted with professionals from diverse fields, including archaeology, history and art, is also scheduled to be conducted at the museum. This examination is scheduled to be completed by 2025.

Starting with a special exhibition of Lee’s bequeathed works in April next year, the NMK added that it plans to hold exhibitions of the works at its 13 affiliated museums. The museum also said that in holding the exhibition next year, it will work with the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, which received 1,488 modern and contemporary artworks from Lee. The exhibition will hint at what the proposed “Lee Kun-hee Donation Hall” is to look like.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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