July 28, 2009 11:25
Korea's "city of museums", Bucheon in Gyeonggi Province, will be adding a new one in 2011 -- a museum for onggi, or traditional Korean earthenware pottery, designed in the shape of an onggi pot. Bucheon City recently announced its decision to build the museum in Yeowol-dong, Ojeong-gu. Construction will begin in September and is expected to be completed by August 2011.
The Yeowol-dong area has a long history linked to onggi. During the late-Chosun period, Catholics, who were heavily persecuted at the time, found haven there and earned a living by making onggi and earthenware. There were kilns and dugouts in the area until the 1980s.
The exterior of the museum will be designed in the shape of an onggi vessel. Each section of the museum will display ceramics, materials, and tools relevant to particular periods and regions, and a space where visitors can try their hand at making pottery will be open throughout the year.
"We decided to build the museum in order to restore the pottery-making history of the region from the late-Chosun period, and to raise awareness of our traditional earthenware, which has been gaining popularity recently," said Lee Hyo-cheol, a Bucheon City official.
About 10 onggi museums and villages already exist in Seoul, Daejeon, Ulsan and Cheongju, but most are privately owned and run. Bucheon is currently home to nine museums, including ones dedicated to comics, European porcelain, and archery bows.
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