Russian Art, Relics to Visit Korea for 9 Months

Article excerpt

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Korea and Russia, a host of Russian artworks and historic relics will visit Korea for a special nine-month show, starting July 8.

The exhibit, the biggest ever such show in Korea, will open first at the branch of the National Museum of Contemporary Arts (02-759-7550) located in Toksu Palace near City Hall subway station in Seoul. Following this, the show will move to other cities across the country, including Kwangju (Oct. 16 - Nov.29) and Taegu (Dec. 12 - Jan. 28, 2001 ), and will wrap up the tour in Pusan (Feb. 13 - Mar. 31, 2001).

Entitled ```Russia; A Thousand Years of Life and Art,'' the exhibit has been co-organized by the Russian news service ITAR-TASS, and, on the Korean side, the Organizing Committee for Commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of Korean-Russian Diplomatic Relations. Participating on the committee members the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Lotte Group, and Korean Broadcasting System(KBS).

The initiative for the event was taken by ITAR-TASS during President President Kim Dae-jung's visit to Russia last year, when the Russian state news agency proposed a plan to hold a massive Russian exhibition in Korea. The Korean committee was soon formed for the task of coordinating the project with the Russian organizers and 26 state museums and galleries, from which the works have been loaned.

On view are some 550 items, which range from old icons to the sumptuous treasures of the Romanov imperial household and paintings by 19th and 20th century avant garde artists.

For art lovers in Korea, the event will be an excellent opportunity to learn about Russian culture and art. Many of the featured items are highly valuable national treasures, according to an organizer, many of which have never before left Russia.

The exhibit breaks down into six sections according to differing themes. ``Early Russian Spirit and Culture'' traces pre-Christian belief systems in ten-odd fresco remnants from old churches. …