National Museum of World Writing Systems opens in Incheon

Photo: Yonhap
SEOUL. KAZINFORM A national museum dedicated to various writing systems of the world opened with a ceremony Thursday in Incheon, west of Seoul, Yonhap reports.

The National Museum of World Writing Systems is the third museum of its kind in the world, following the Champollion Museum of France and another museum in China. It is also Incheon's first national museum.

«It is meaningful that the museum was constructed in South Korea, which has 'hangeul,' the only writing system in the world that has clear principles of creation and a unique structure,» Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Park Bo-gyoon said in his speech at the opening ceremony.

The minister pledged active support from his ministry to help the museum serve as a platform that connects hangeul and other writing systems from around the world.

Located in the city's Songdo international business district, the museum occupies a three-story building, including one floor below ground, built on 19,418 square meters of land.

It cost the government 61.1 billion won (US46.7 million) to complete the facility, according to the ministry.

It said the museum with an exterior resembling an unfurled white scroll will serve as a new landmark of Songdo, harmonizing well with its location in a park and the surrounding landscape.

The museum has a permanent exhibition hall showcasing the theme of «The great journey of writing and civilization» on the first basement floor. The exhibition explores written cultures from a comparative cultural perspective.

Visitors will see various artifacts and digital images of 55 sorts of different scripts ranging from cuneiform, the earliest known script of humanity, to Egyptian hieroglyphs, Chinese characters and Korea's hangeul, known for being one of the most well-designed scripts.

Among the collection are the Sumerian Cuneiform tablets, which record the flood myth from ancient Southwest Asia between 2,000 BC and 1,600 BC in Akkadian cuneiform, and Gutenberg's 42-Line Bible, the first printed book in the Western world using metal type invented by Johannes Gutenberg (1400-1468).

There also is a Canopus jar engraved with hieroglyphs from ancient Egypt.

The museum will open to the public starting Friday. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except for Mondays, and admission will be free.

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