(LEAD) S. Korea breaks ground on Korean literature museum

Construction of the country's first national museum dedicated to Korean literature began Monday in Seoul, with plans to complete it by late 2026. The groundbreaking ceremony for the National Museum of Korean Literature (NMKL) took place on the construction site in the northwestern neighborhood of Jingwan-dong and was attended by Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Yu In-chon. Spanning 14,993 square meters and four stories, including two basement levels, the museum is designed around the theme of "scenery of a village," intended to complement the natural backdrop of Mount Bukhan. The project is expected to cost 71.6 billion won (US$52.8 million). The facility will include a permanent exhibition hall that explores the history and future of Korean literature, alongside spaces for special exhibitions, an outdoor garden, educational and interactive areas, a multipurpose auditorium and storage. "The NMKL has been meticulously collecting and preserving Korean literary materials that were on the verge of extinc tion. By the time it opens in 2026, it aims to firmly establish its position as a truly representative museum of Korean literature by possessing approximately 120,000 literary materials," Moon Chung-hee, director of the museum, said during the ceremony. "It will become a truly large and strong nest for Korean literature to spread its wings and soar high, not only in Korea but also in world culture." Minister Yu vowed his ministry's full support for the museum. "As global attention on Korean literature surges, it's no surprise that Korean writers are gaining recognition at international awards," he said during the ceremony. "During my tenure, I will diligently support the National Museum of Korean Literature's role in propelling Korean literature to new heights." Yu met with literary leaders following the ceremony to discuss enhancing support for the literature and translation sectors, with plans for establishing a Korean literature festival and initiatives to boost literary programs. Source: Yonhap New s Agency