South Korea launches five-year plan to extend cultural footprint and improve accessibility
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South Korea launches five-year plan to extend cultural footprint and improve accessibility

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The South Korean government has set a target of building 140 new museums and 46 new art galleries by 2023 in a new five-year plan that it hopes will make Korean art and artefacts more accessible.

Should the targets be hit, the country will have more than a thousand museums and just shy of 300 art galleries by that date. The government stated its hope that tax deductions on museum and art gallery admission fees, which take effect on 1 July, would help to meet the goal.

As well as the bricks and mortar aspect of these institutions, an expansion of the nation's conservation system for collections, and the creation of new online and mobile systems to deliver information on exhibitions, are also contained within the plan.

The National Museum of Korea has already developed a "cultural heritage management system", allowing institutions to manage their collections digitally and share information with other participating institutions. The system has mostly been used by museums, but will now be remodelled for art galleries too.

Meanwhile, an art and artefacts conservation system in use at state-run museums will be extended to those run by regional governments. An app to provide information on nearby museums and galleries is in development, and a "smart museum/art gallery" system using AR and VR technology will be introduced for state-run institutions.

Several incentives are being considered or implemented to encourage private and regional activity. Among them, the state government has said it will cover up to 50 per cent of construction costs when a regional government wishes to build large scale storage for artwork and relics, while a tax incurred when transferring ownership of an institution into private hands is to be reduced.

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The South Korean government has set a target of building 140 new museums and 46 new art galleries by 2023 in a new five-year plan that it hopes will make Korean art and artefacts more accessible.
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