“Korean culture combines traditional and modern. I am glad this space opened as I always wanted to experience more of it,” said a local visitor to the Paris Korea Center Wednesday. The new 8-story building of 3,756 square meters, which is located at the heart of the capital near Champs Elysees, is the new home for the Korean Cultural Center France.
The center has been incremental in promoting Korean culture across Europe for the past 39 years since it opened in 1980 near Place du Trocadéro opposite the Eiffel Tower in Paris. However, it was thought that it was too small to meet the growing demand for Korean Culture triggered by the Korean Wave in the 2000s.
The center has been rebranded as “Paris Korea Center” as it shares the building with the Paris branches of the Korea Tourism Organization and the Korea Creative Content Agency. The government invested 83.9 billion won to build the building. “We painted the outside of the building white in the hope that Korean culture can absorb everything”, said architect Ahn Tae-joon who was in charge of the renovation. “We tried to recreate Gwanghwamun in Paris.” The new building, which is five times bigger than the previous one, has an auditorium that can accommodate 118 people, a large 500-square-meter showroom, a Korean culture and food experience hall and a lecture room among others.
Parisians joined the opening ceremony where they enjoyed Sunwoo Ye-kwon’s mini classic concert, an exhibition of Korean traditional objects and a Korean food tasting event. Former French Minister of Culture Fleur Pellerin said that interest in Korean culture such as Korean fashion, food, cosmetics as well as Korean movies and K-pop has grown significantly in the country and the new center will help French people have a better understanding of Korean culture.
Youn-Jong Kim email@example.com