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Modern history museum to bring Korea's past, present and future together

A ceremony was held on November 25 at the old Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism building in Gwanghwamun to mark the beginning of construction of the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History.

The ceremony not only heralded the beginning of two years of construction, but also announced the significance and status of the museum to the public.

The ceremony was attended by more than 400 people, including Prime Minister Kim Hwang-Sik, and influential figures from politics, business and all levels of society.

President Lee Myung-bak first suggested a National Museum of Korean Contemporary History in his Liberation Day address on August 15, 2008. In his speech, President Lee vowed to build a museum of modern history "in a bid to have our achievements go down in history and to ensure that those brilliant legacies are passed on." 

In the past two years, detailed plans were drawn up for the museum, including exhibits and construction plans.

Artist's rendering of the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History

The museum will feature historic data on Korea’s modern history in a wide variety of sectors, including politics, the economy, culture and society.

The museum will have four themes: the birth of the republic, the Korean War, Korea’s economic growth and democratic movement and the advancement of Korea in the global era.

The museum will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology so that visitors can feel and experience meaningful scenes from modern Korean history, according to the museum preparation committee.

Also, the museum plans to provide online exhibits using smart phones and the internet so that Korean cultural offices overseas and schools can see the museum’s displays and check historical facts through the museum’s digitalized exhibit sources.

"Since this museum is being built with taxpayers’ money, we will do our utmost not to omit anything and to show every trace of Korea’s modern history and development in a consistent and integrative way," said Kim Jin-hyun, chairman of the Committee for the Establishment of National Museum of Korean Contemporary History.

"The goal of the museum lies in recording and passing on Korea's proud history of development despite hardship and adversity to our descendants, while securing motivation for the country's future development and uplifting peoples' self-esteem to achieve social integration," Kim said.

By Yoon Sojung
Korea.net Staff Writer

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