Lawmakers propose national art museums outside Seoul

A government plan to expand cultural facilities to regional areas is moving forward, after a decision to establish the “Lee Kun-hee donation hall” in Seoul sparked an uproar among regional cities and lawmakers.

Several proposals to secure the budget to launch additional sites of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea across the country will be discussed this week by the National Assembly’s Budget Settlement Committee, according to several lawmakers’ offices.

Among the proposals put forward is that of the main representative of the opposition party, Choi Hyung-du, to add 500 million won ($422,000) to next year’s budget for a feasibility study on the creation of a place in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, the constituency he represents.

Another opposition lawmaker, Kim Seung-su, is asking for 500 million won to conduct a feasibility study on opening an MMCA branch in Daegu. It will be discussed in committee, according to the legislator’s office. Kim, who represents Daegu, has proposed turning the former North Gyeongsang provincial government compound into a museum.

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea currently has four sites: two in Seoul, the Gwacheon site in Gyeonggi Province and the Cheongju site in North Chungcheong Province, which opened in 2018 and became the museum’s first site outside the capital. .

“Even before the Lee Kun-hee donation room issue, regional cities had requested to have MMCA rooms,” a museum official told the Korea Herald.

“The Minister has a plan to expand the rooms of the museum and we are moving in this direction. For a big project like this, we first have to check the feasibility. (Once the additional budget is obtained), it will take two or three years for the research process,” said an official from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Culture Minister Hwang Hee told reporters on November 10 that the government plans to build more national museums in regional cities so that more people can enjoy art, although the “Lee Donation Hall Kun-hee” be established in Seoul.

“There are so many voices in cities about their need for more cultural spaces,” Hwang said after announcing the government’s decision to establish the donation hall in Songhyeon-dong, central Seoul. , to house most of the 23,000 works of art donated by the late Samsung. Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee.

After the Budget Committee considers the decision to allocate the additional funds to the government’s budget for next year, the cases will be submitted to the plenary session scheduled for early December.

The government is also planning to use the Asian Cultural Center in Gwangju as another regional branch of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Korea.

By Park Yuna (


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