Roles and Visions of KU Museum
Roles and Visions of KU Museum
  • 경남타임즈(경남대학교)
  • 승인 2023.03.13 15:25
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The Kyungnam University Museum (KUM) studies the history and culture of the regions of Sough Gyeongsang Province and contributes to the development of the local community's history and culture by collecting, storing, researching, and exhibiting various cultural assets. It was established on November 18 in 1976, according to the will of KU President Park Jae Kyu, for the purpose of giving the university an identity and enhance the sense of unity among its members by preserving the history and records of KU.

Contribution to the Research on Local Culture and Archaeology

KUM has conducted continuous research, with an emphasis on local culture research and archaeological research on the remains and relics of the prehistoric period, Gaya, and Three States periods. By 2010, KUM had conducted more than 40 research projects, including an excavation and investigation of dolmens in Deokcheon-ri, Changwon. Additionally, through the research of KUM, the remains of civilians who were sacrificed in the ‘National Press Federation Incident’ during the Korean War were excavated and investigated in the regions such as Gyeongsan, Sancheong, and Jinju cities. In this process, for the first time, the remains of the victims were excavated using archaeological methods. Through its constant and successful effort of excavation, KUM presented a model for the excavation of the remains of civilians killed in genocides conducted in various places.

Retrieve of Terauchi Collection from Yamaguchi Prefectural University

The Terauchi exhibition room with the theme of ‘Mukyeon – A bond made in silence,’ can be said to be the most meaningful space in the KU Museum. Some of the Terauchi collections displayed here were forcibly leaked during the Japanese colonial period and were retuned by the Terauchi Bunko of Yamaguchi Prefectural University in Japan in January 1996. These collections are valuable enough to be regarded as historical events in that they were retrieved by civilian efforts. Authorities of KU, including President Park, were having an interest in Korean cultural properties that were leaked overseas. as part of the 50th anniversary. Therefore, they decided to explore Korean relics located in Japan. Finally, President Park and his party met a member of the Korea-Japan Parliamentarians’ Union (KJPU) at Narita Airport in Japan in 1995 and heard the circumstances. KU decided to pursue the project as a means of private academic exchanges with the help of the KJPU and the Korea-Japan Friendship Association. KU negotiated with Yamaguchi Prefectural University to retrieve the Terauchi Collection. As a result, on November 11, 1995, the two universities held a ceremony to sign a memorandum to transfer part of Yamaguchi Prefectural University's Terauchi Collection to KU to promote academic exchanges. Finally, all the relics listed on the memorandum were returned to their homeland, Korea after 80 years. Among the collections, Yu han-ji (1760-1840)'s Giwoncheop (Prayer Book) was designated as national treasure No. 1682. In addition, the entire Terauchi Bunko (98 items, 135 books, 1 axis), which includes the Giwoncheop, has been designated as Tangible Cultural Property No. 509 of the South Gyeongsang Province.

Interview with KU Museum Director, Cho Ho-yeon

Q: What is the pride of the KU Museum?

A: In my opinion, the proudest thing that only KUM has is the Terauchi Exhibition Room. In a situation where it was not systematically archived at Yamaguchi Prefectural University in Japan, Korea made a lot of efforts to bring it back, but it was not successful. In the meantime, on the occasion of KU’s 50th anniversary, President Park Jae kyu contacted and persuaded Japanese officials and succeeded in bringing some of the Terauchi.

Q: Is there a difference unique to the KU Museum?

A: Our museum has a wide variety of exhibition rooms. On the second floor, there are permanent exhibition rooms for each theme. Under the theme of ‘The Metaphor of Nature over Civilization,’ it implicitly shows how humans and nature live in harmony. Also, in the special exhibition room, the donated artifacts are displayed in rotation. On the first floor, there is a school history exhibition room, where 77 years of KU history since its opening are exhibited.

Q: What is the operating policy of the KU museum?

A: The operating policy of the museum is ‘a museum that helps others.’ First, the subject that we help is just KU. As for how to help, we are trying to help a lot in promoting KU. Second, in our school, there are many lectures and field trips for students who have yet to know the existence of the museum. Third, we are promoting online exhibitions as well as museum visits to help the local community beyond KU.

Q: What is the future vision for the development of the KU Museum?


A: I think that the future vision is to expand the various areas of our museum by activating foreign exchange. As a concrete plan, we are thinking of actively cooperating with many organizations such as the Korean Museum Association and the Korean University Museum Association. It's easy for people to get the impression that a museum is just a place with a collection of relics from the past, so we are researching to keep up with current exhibition trends and follow them closely.

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