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Since its establishment as the Imperial Museum of Korean Empire in Seoul in 1909 and relocation of museum sites to local cities over the course of Japanese Colonial Period(1910-1945) and Korean War(1950-1953), the National Museum of Korea reopened on a site of 307,227 m2 (building area: 45,438 m2) in Yongsan, Seoul on October 28, 2005. Yongsan is backed by the expansive Mt. Namsan and fronted by the Han River. It is the geographic heart of the nation’s capital Seoul. Reborn as a “cultural complex” that all Koreans could enjoy, the mission of the new NMK was now not only to preserve and display relics but also to host a variety of programs, such as the Children’s Museum and cultural events linked to exhibitions. NMK houses some 220,000 cultural properties from the prehistoric era to the Joseon Period(1392-1910). It also established Asia Gallery which is designed for a better understanding of universality and diversity of Asian cultures representing the unique characteristics of each country. In July 2010, the museum’s permanent hall reformed and the galleries are retitled as Prehistory and Ancient History Gallery, Medieval and Early Modern History Gallery, Calligraphy and Painting Gallery, Sculpture and Crafts Gallery, Donations Gallery and Asia Gallery.
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