Rare portraits of N. Korea’s‘Dear Leader’ revealed

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Rare portraits of N. Korea’s‘Dear Leader’ revealed

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The exhibit “Flowers for Kim Il Sung” in Vienna shows propaganda posters and a model of the capital Pyongyang’s landmark Juche Tower.Provided by the Museum of Applied Arts

VIENNA - Portraits never seen outside North Korea of leader Kim Jong-il and his late father Kim Il Sung went on display in Vienna yesterday alongside dozens of propaganda posters produced by the secretive nuclear state.

The exhibition, entitled “Flowers for Kim Il Sung,” also includes a model of the capital Pyongyang’s landmark Juche Tower and architectural drawings and photographs.

The 16 portraits of Kim and his father, the founder of North Korea, are being exhibited for the first time abroad, according to museum officials. The pair are the subject of an all-embracing personality cult in North Korea.

Kim Il Sung was declared president for eternity after he died of a heart attack in 1994 at the age of 82. His embalmed body lies in a glass coffin at a palace in Pyongyang.

Kim, 67, who reportedly suffered a stroke in August 2008, is widely thought to have chosen his third son, Jong-un, to inherit power.

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The exhibit “Flowers for Kim Il Sung” in Vienna shows propaganda posters and a model of the capital Pyongyang’s landmark Juche Tower.Provided by the Museum of Applied Arts

Vienna’s Museum of Applied Arts, or MAK, which prepared the exhibition in cooperation with the Korean Art Gallery in Pyongyang and the Paektusan Academy of Architecture, has been accused by some critics in Austria of supporting the North Korean regime.

But the museum’s director Peter Noever dismissed the suggestion. “As a museum of art, our job is to display art so that it can be discussed afterwards,” he said.

The exhibition runs until Sept. 5.


AFP
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