Italian luxury brand Gucci has announced a three-year commitment to supporting the conservation and restoration of the Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Gucci President and CEO Marco Bizzarri and Cultural Heritage Administration Administrator Choi Eung-chon signed an agreement Nov. 1 on cooperating on future improvement projects of multiple sites within Gyeongbokgung, said Gucci Korea in a press release issued by its PR agency.
"Beauty is a constant source of inspiration for Gucci, but it also needs constant care and attention," said Bizzarri upon signing the commitment at Heungbokjeon Hall, Gyeongbokgung. "Our collaboration with the Cultural Heritage Administration will help preserve the rich historical and artistic heritage of this unique site.”
Gucci's global fashion show was scheduled to be held at Gyeongbokgung on Nov. 1. It would have been the Italian luxury fashion house's first major runway show in Seoul.
The show was called off on Oct. 30 following the crowd crush tragedy in Itaewon the previous day that claimed more than 150 lives.
Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung served as the main palace for Joseon era royals.
Records indicate that an office within the palace was equipped with an astronomical observatory and necessary instruments for scientific studies, which contributed to the development of astronomy in Korea.
The palace’s historical significance led Gucci's Creative Director Alessandro Michele to plan a runway show presenting his astronomy-inspired Cosmogonie collection there.
Some 10 new pieces added to the Cosmogonie collection that was shown against the backdrop of Castel Del Monte, a UNESCO Heritage Site in Apulia, Italy on May, were to have been unveiled at the Seoul show.
A CHA official told The Korea Herald that Gucci's decision to support Gyeongbokgung had been discussed with the CHA while planning for the fashion show.
“We will inform Gucci of how the fund is used and find a way to acknowledge Gucci's contribution through future projects,” the official said.