The Korea Herald


National Museum of Korean Literature to open in 2026

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Jan. 22, 2024 - 19:37

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Culture Minister Yu In-chon, second from left, speaks during a meeting with officials on Monday. (Culture Ministry) Culture Minister Yu In-chon, second from left, speaks during a meeting with officials on Monday. (Culture Ministry)

The Culture Ministry, in partnership with the Seoul Housing and Communities Corporation, will establish the National Museum of Korean Literature, in Eunpyeong-gu, northern Seoul.

Culture Minister Yu In-chon held a meeting with officials at the National Museum of Korea in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, on Monday, and signed the agreement with SH Corporation, the owner of the museum site.

“The museum has long been an aspiration in the literary community,” said Yu. “It is also significant that it will be located in Jingwan-dong, Eunpyeong-gu, because the place holds historical ties to 'Gijachon,' having once been a village inhabited by journalists and literary figures.”

In the late 1960s, "Gijachon," meaning Journalists' Village in English, was built in Jingwan-dong to provide affordable housing for hundreds of journalists exclusively as a joint project by the government and the Journalists Association of Korea.

Meanwhile, Eunpyeong-gu became the neighborhood for many poets and writers, including Jo Jung-rae, Choi In-hun and Shin Kyung-sook in the 1980s.

The construction project will be overseen by the Culture Ministry, in accordance with the Literature Promotion Act, with a total budget of 69 billion won ($51.5 million).

Construction is slated to kick off in February, pending the selection of the construction company. The expected completion date of the project is late 2025, with an opening schedule for the latter half of 2026.

Poet Moon Chung-hee will be the incumbent director of the museum.

“Korean literature is inherently people-oriented and egalitarian, rather than being centered on the royal family (like Western literature). So the architectural design incorporates horizontal layers. Also drawing inspiration from traditional Korean villages, the focus is on harmony with nature,” said professor Lee Eun-seok, the architect behind the project.

Additionally, Eunpyeong-gu plans to develop a Hangeul-themed park and an artists’ village near the museum, said Mayor Kim Mi-kyung of Eunpyeong-gu.