Search takes a new turn for director of museumThe National Museum has found land for a new home and will move there in June 2005. What the museum is looking for now is a new leader.
The museum’s next director takes over March 19. His post will be elevated to a vice ministerial position, and a decision on who will be hired is to be discussed at a ministerial meeting next week, chaired by President Kim Dae-jung.
In the past, the director of the National Museum was directly appointed directly by Korea’s president. However the current director, Ji Gon-gil, was appointed in 2000 from a pool of six candidates who submitted resumes. The position’s tenure is three years.
The government had plans to choose the director of the museum from an open pool again this year. However, last week the Ministry of Culture and Tourism reverted to its old policy of governmental designation, sending the hiring process into disarray.
Four candidates submitted their resumes to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for review on Feb. 3. Kang Woo-bang, 62, is a Buddhist art expert at Ewha Womans University, as well as former director of the Gyeongju National Museum.
Kim Hong-nam, 55, also an art history professor at Ewha, has a doctorate from Yale and served as chief curator of the Asian art collection at New York City’s Rockefeller Foundation. If elected, Ms. Kim will be the first female director of the National Museum.
Yi Kun-moo, 56, is the chief curator of the National Museum, and has been with the museum for more than 30 years.
Yoo Hong-joon, 54, is a professor of art history at Myungji University and author of several books about Korea’s cultural heritage.
An official at the museum says that no date has been set to decide the next director ― indeed, a hiring panel has yet to be selected.
The new museum, which will be located in Yongsan, is set to be the largest in East Asia. The museum took over a temporary building near Gyeongbok Palace after the old Colonial Administration building was torn down in 1996.
by Choi Jie-ho