Arts & Living
Amb. Hans-Ulrich Seidt Promotes Various Cooperations
King Gojong (高宗) of Korea's Jeoseon Dynasty (1392-1897) was trying nearly everything to keep his kingdom independent from the sinister scheme of the imperialist nations to swallow the weakening Korea.
As a part of his efforts to save his Kingdom, Gojong hired a German diplomat Paul Georg von Möllendorff (1847-1901) as his court official in 1882.
As a linguist himself Möllendorff quickly mastered the Korean language and earned the trust of King Gojong.
Later, he became Gojong's deputy foreign minister, adopted the Korean name Mok In-Dok (穆麟德), and played a very influential role in King Gojong's court until he was forced to resign under extreme pressure from China and Japan.
During a couple of years of his serving the king, Möllendorff recorded various aspects of Korean culture including eating customs in Korea, how to make Korean dishes and houses, how Koreans skincare, different types of coins, weapons, smoking, and the means of transportation.
Moreover, he collected artifacts of Korea and the living items of Korean people.
"He collected more than 1,250 pieces of Korea's cultural objects, mainly the ordinary living items of Korean folks, from potteries to palanquins, Amb. Seidt said. "When he was forced to leave Korea,
he brought back all of his collections and gave them to the Grassi Museum Leipzig, which accumulated additional Korean traditional objects since."According to the German envoy, King Gojong bestowed Möllendorff with the "Great Sword" that belonged to King Sunjo and used in his fight against Japanese during Hideoshi's Invasion of Korea.
He stressed the fact that Möllendorff was the first and only official of Korea from a foreign nation, it was the beginning of the flulishing relationships and ever growing cooperation between Germany and Korea.The German envoy siad that Germany's Leipzig delegation would visit South Korea from March 6 to March 10, 2011 to pormote ties and cooperations between the two countries.
The German delegation consists of Leipzig's Mayor Burkhard Jung,
Leipzig Deputy Mayor Uwe Albrecht, and Leipzig Chamber of Commerce representatives.
Leipzig International Airport, unlike its counterpart in Frankfurt, was built primarily for cargo and is open for 24 hours all year.
In addition, the German city is located in central Europe and facilitates well-organized railway and highway systems. It has a capability to effectively distribute cargo throughout the entire European Union."In terms of music, the city of Leipzig is comparable to the city of Vienna, but in terms of its trade volume, it is comparable to Frankfurt," he added.
He said that Leipzig Mayor Burkhard Jung invited Incheon Mayor Song Young-Gil to make a keynote speech about the importance of transportation at the forthcoming International Transport Forum in the German city.
The German envoy also stressed the cooperation in the medical field.
He said that Chonnam National University decided to cooperate on the stem cell research with a Leipzig university.Leipzig also has strong historial ties with the Korean provincial city of Gwangju.
On May 18, 1980 in Gwangju, there was an uprising called Gwangju Democratization Movement.
In 1986 when Germany was still separated into two parts, Leipzig was the place where democratization movement was initiated in Germany.
"The two cities share very important historical phenomenon that liberalized citizens of the two nations from despotic governments," he said.
He said that the German delegation would visit the industrial city of Ulsan, art city of Gwangju, and the port city of Incheon to discuss the further improvements that can be made for the cooperation.
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