The National Museum of Korea is the flagship
museum of Korean history and art in South Korea and is the cultural organization
that represents Korea. Since its establishment in 1945, the museum has
been committed to various studies and research activities in the fields
of archaeology, history, and art, continuously developing a variety of
exhibitions and education programs.
In 2012, it was reported that since its relocation to
Yongsan District in 2005, the museum had attracted an attendance of 20
million visitors, or over 3 million annually which makes it one of the
most visited museums in the world and Asia and the most visited in South
Korea. A poll of nearly 2,000 foreign visitors, conducted by the Seoul
Metropolitan Government in November 2011, stated that visiting the museum
is one of their favorite activities in Seoul. It is one of the largest
museums in Asia.
The museum contains over 310,000 pieces in its collection.
It displays relics and artifacts covering three floors throughout six permanent
exhibition galleries such as Prehistory and Ancient History Gallery,
Medieval and Early Modern History Gallery, Donation Gallery, Calligraphy
and Painting Gallery, Asian Art Gallery, and Sculpture and Crafts Gallery.
It is the sixth largest museum in the world in terms of
floor space, now covering a total of 295,551 square metres. In order to
protect the artifacts inside the museum, the main building was built to
withstand a magnitude 6.0 Richter Scale earthquake. The display cases are
equipped with shock-absorbent platforms. There is also an imported natural
lighting system which utilizes sunlight instead of artificial lights and
a specially designed air-conditioning system. The museum is made from fire-resistant
materials and has special exhibition halls, education facilities, a children's
museum, huge outdoor exhibition areas, restaurants, cafes, and shops.