Veteran actor Shin to donate $44M art center

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Veteran actor Shin to donate $44M art center

Veteran Korean actor Shin Young-kyun announced on Monday that he would donate an arts center and museum worth 50 billion won ($44.5 million) to the film and arts industry.

The 82-year-old former two-term lawmaker said he would be giving away Seoul’s Myungbo Art Hall and Korea’s largest film museum, the Sinyoung Cinema Museum on Jeju Island.

“This is most welcome for the film industry’s development,” said friend and film director Kim Soo-yong. “Shin is a fine member of the film industry who has grown accustomed to thriftiness despite his considerable wealth.”

The donation is the largest ever offered by an actor to the film sector.

Myungbo Art Hall, which used to be Myungbo Theater, is an iconic venue in the nation’s film industry, as the theater played a central role in screening Korean films in the 1970s and 1980s.

“Having your own theater is a dream for everyone in the film industry,” Shin told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday at Myungbo Art Hall, Cho-dong, central Seoul. “This theater means a lot to me because many of my films were screened here.”

Shin said he had been considering the donation for some time. “I wanted to do something good before I die.”

Shin starred in nearly 300 films through the 1960s and 1970s and received a presidential order in 1987 for his contributions to the country’s development.

By Sung So-young [so@joongang.co.kr]

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