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Culture ministry signs first MOU with Smithsonian to expand cultural exchangesBy Yonhap
Published : April 28, 2023 - 09:30
South Korea's culture ministry has signed its first memorandum of understanding with the Smithsonian Institution of the United States to enhance cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two organizations, the ministry said Friday.
The signing ceremony was held at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art in Washington, DC, on Thursday on the sidelines of President Yoon Suk Yeol's state visit to the US
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Part Bo-gyoon and Meroe Park, deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the Smithsonian Institution, attended the ceremony.
It marks the first MOU that has been signed between the two organizations.
The agreement laid the foundation for cultural cooperation between 23 cultural arts institutions under the South Korean ministry and 21 such institutions under the world's largest cultural institution, the ministry said in a release.
The two sides plan to cooperate on personnel exchanges for academic research and professional development, joint research in various fields, exhibitions and art loans, as well as jointly hosting public programs related to history and culture, according to the ministry.
Founded in 1864, the Smithsonian Institution holds about 155 million artifacts, artwork and specimens across various museums in Washington, including the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum, and the National Museum of American History. The combined annual number of visitors to the museums is about 30 million.
In 1961, the institution began its official exchanges with the South Korean culture ministry when its National Museum of Natural History exhibited a statue of Buddha from the Goryeo period (918-1392). The ministry has supported the improvement of the Korean gallery at the National Museum of Asian Art with a budget in 2011 and dedicated personnel since 2018.
The Smithsonian has continued its collaborations with the ministry, including jointly planning and holding special exhibitions at the museum in 2019 and last year.
In 2025, the popular artworks donated by late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee are scheduled to go on display there.
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