Museum expo provides views of the world’s artA brief tour of the Louvre and the State Hermitage Museum in Russia is available for the price of 30,000 won ($30).
No one will actually be traveling to Paris or St. Petersburg ― rather, these museums are sending some of their rarest collections here to participate in an international museum fair which opens today in Ilsan, Gyeonggi province.
In addition to the Louvre and State Hermitage museums, 108 more institutions from 22 countries will participate in the 2005 World Museum Culture Expo.
Until Aug. 21, major museums, including the National Palace Museum of Taiwan, the Mongolian National Modern Art Gallery, Gede Museum of Kenya and Archaeological Museum at Thessaloniki in Greece, will display the natural and cultural treasures of their home countries.
Some of the showcased items are fossils from the Paleozoic era, the world’s biggest uncut diamond, the shell of a giant clam and an ancient Moroccan amber necklace.
An exhibition of the Reunion des Musees Nationaux will feature the finest artworks from 34 French state museums and art galleries, organizers say. These include a copperplate print of the “Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” as well as 99 Picasso works, including “Atelier du Sculpteur” (Sculptor’s Atelier) and “Minotaurus.” Thirty-four replicas of sculptures like “Le Penseur” (The Thinker) by Auguste Rodin and the Venus de Milo will be presented as well.
For visitors looking for more unusual displays, the “Extraordinary Pavilion” section of the expo will present rare artifacts used in Ethiopian religion and by an Indonesian phallic worship culture, as well as the toilet used by Louis XIII.
Dozens of Korea’s own museums are also participating, providing glimpses of Korea’s early 20th century culture.
A railway museum is presenting model trains and tickets, as well as the original blueprint for the first railway in Korea, the Gyeongin (Seoul-Incheon) line.
The event is being held at the Korea International Exhibition Center (Kintex). The Gyeonggi Tourism Organization, the organizers, said the event is the biggest of its kind ever held in South Korea.
by Lee Min-a
Kintex can be reached from the Daehwa station on subway line No. 3. Admission is 30,000 won for adults, and 25,000 won for secondary school students. A 10 percent discount is available with an advance reservation. Call 031-911-4577 or visit www.wmce.or.kr.