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South Korean President Yeon Suk-Yeol pumps $3.7 Billion in arts investment

Recently elected South Korean President Yeon Suk-Yeol has taken a big step to revamp the country’s cultural footing. He has proposed a $3.7 Billion arts investment to kickstart cultural projects in film, TV, and art. He has also made a proposal to renovate the Blue House, or Cheong Wa Dae. The main aim is to make a cultural center along the lines of Palace of Versailles in France.

His government’s goal is to tap South Korea’s immense soft power. It will also help tourism and increase foreign arts investment in the country. However, at home, it wants Koreans to appreciate artists and know about the cultural heritage of the country.

The President has emphasized equal and fair access to culture and instructed his ministers to buy artwork from marginalized artists. In addition, state-owned art collections, like the 23,000 pieces collected by deceased Samsung Group chair Lee Kun-hee should open for exhibition to the general public.

As such, there is a plan of transforming the former presidential residence into an art center. They also expected to host art exhibitions and showcase contemporary galleries. In addition, artworks from across the country and some 600 pieces from the vault of the Blue House shown to the public.

The overall complex will be re-designed, too, and there are proposals for a sculpture park in the outdoor space. The first exhibition is expected to be held in autumn.

Cultural Minister Park Bo-gyoon remarked, “The center will operate like the Palace of Versailles in France”. Also, plans are that the complex be as a heritage site, disallowing food and drink inside the complex.

The goal is of making South Korea “a culturally attractive country”. However, it helps in attracting more and more people to events, like the upcoming Frieze Seoul. There is also the Busan Biennale and two Kiaf fairs.