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Korean National Literary Center to be built in northern Seoul

Korean National Literary Center to be built in northern Seoul

Posted November. 09, 2018 07:32,   

Updated November. 09, 2018 07:32


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced on Thursday that it designated the Gijachon Geunrin Park in Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul as the land to build the Korea National Literary Center. Although Culture Station Seoul 284, former Seoul Station, Paju Book City land in Gyeonggi Province, and Heyri land in Paju City were final candidates, Gijachon Geunrin Park has been ultimately decided after considering accessibility, and possibility of international exchange. As such, controversies over designating the land to build the Korea National Literary Center, which went on for nearly three years, have been put to an end. The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism invited public participation in designating the building site in 2016 but suspended it as competition between local governments became fierce.

The Korea National Literary Center, which is targeting to be opened in 2022, is 14,000-square-meter big, investing 60.8 billion won. It will be constituted of storage, preservation and recovery facilities, exhibition halls, education and research facilities, reference rooms, performance halls, and convenience facilities. The ministry also revealed that it received some 33,000 books and 100 relics collected by the late professor Ha Dong-ho, who is a representative bibliographer and literary material collector, as a donation from his family.

Despite the fact that the Gijachon Geunrin Park was chosen, controversies over accessibility and symbolism are likely to continue. Commissioner Yeom Moo-ung of the Korea National Literary Center Establishment Commission expressed his regret over the fact that National Museum of Korea land located in Yongsan-gu, Seoul was foundered as a result of opposition by the Seoul city government, making sure that this was his personal opinion.

“We could not overcome the barriers of the reality. As there is no utilization plan for the Yongsan land, it may take five years or 10 years to build the Korea National Literary Center. We cannot know for sure. The sense of crisis that the construction of the Korea National Literary Center may cast away for a long time affected the final decision,” said Mr. Yeom.

“We requested each department in order to designate Yongsan, which is an ideal place, and requested meetings with the President but it did not happen,” added Vice Commissioner Lee Si-young. “Although we are not completely satisfied with the Gijachon land we did not have any choice.”

Hyo-Lim Son aryssong@donga.com