2012-02-11

H.M. The King's speech at the opening of the Korean exhibition, Saturday 11 February 2012

(The spoken version shall take precedence)

Your Excellency,
Madame Director of the Museum of the Far East,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is most interesting to be here at the Museum of the Far East today.

The Swedish National Museums of World Culture administer a small, yet fascinating, collection of Korean arts and crafts.

The founding of the collection was partly initiated by King Gustav VI Adolf, this due to his huge commitment and interest in archeology. The King and Crown Princess Louise travelled to Korea in 1926 and took part in several excavations on site.

Objects from their visit to Korea can be found here at the museum. It is of course gratifying that these items have helped to provide a good insight into Korean cultural history and at the same time form a source of inspiration to Swedish artists.

Due to the Korean War in the 1950s, the interest in Korean arts and handicraft increased in our country. Gifts from Swedish diplomats, business men and medical personnel have played an important role in assembling the collection. Significant contributions have been made, mainly by doctors and nurses who worked at the Swedish field hospital in Busan during the Korean War.

For a long time now, our two countries have had the aspiration to exhibit this collection of Korean objects, wishing to underline the excellent Swedish-Korean cultural ties. I am therefore very pleased to state that today's opening may be seen as a starting point of the preparations for the Swedish state visit to the Republic of Korea later on this spring.

I hereby declare the exhibition in the Korean gallery open!