Interesting that it’s the KCC doing this. Normally I would expect a chaebol or an NGO like the Korea Foundation to fund this sort of post. Anyway, below is the official press release from the British Museum website. This is an additional curatorial post, working under the existing senior curator Sasche Priewe, who will continue to divide his time between the Korea and China galleries.
Korean Cultural Centre UK to fund Korean curatorial post at British Museum
On 25 June 2014, the Korean Cultural Centre UK, supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, and the British Museum will sign an agreement that establishes a new three-year post for a full-time Curator of Korean Collections at the Museum.
The agreement establishes a Curatorial Grant from the “Korean Art Gallery Aid Program for Overseas Museums” designed by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to support the invaluable overseas work of Museums with Korean galleries and collections. This three-year grant will allow the British Museum to recruit a full-time Korean specialist to curate the Korean collections and assist in shaping, planning, and delivering the Museum’s Korea-themed programmes in relation to the Korea Foundation Gallery. It is the first grant of this nature to be awarded.
His Excellency Ambassador Sungnam Lim and Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, will exchange copies of the agreement at a ceremony scheduled for 25 June 2014. The British Museum plans to recruit a specialist curator by the end of 2014 whose academic work will solely focus upon the development of the Korean collections at the British Museum. The new curator will expand awareness of the Korean collections and the Korea Foundation Gallery through multiple media, including online and print publications, lectures, and gallery talks, as well as working with both Korean and UK institutions to generate new knowledge and forums for sharing research. This post will allow the British Museum to more fully advance interest in and understanding of Korean culture for the British public, Koreans in London and the international Museum audience. The post is an exciting new addition to the Museum that will ensure more research and greater exposure for Korea in the museum and public sectors. Jan Stuart, the Keeper of the Department of Asia, said, “The partnership between the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom created by the support of the government of Korea provides a critical asset for the British Museum and an innovative paradigm for cultural organizations dedicated to enhancing cultural exchanges with other countries.”
The KCC has been given additional funding from Seoul for this, covering the full three years of the arrangement, so thankfully this sponsorship will not eat in to their own programme of events.