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  Arts & Living
"Maya 2012" Captivates Residents of Seoul
Nearly 200 Arfifacts Provided by Mexico, Guatemala
By June Low
Staff Writer
Opening ceremony of "Maya 2012" at National Museum of Korea

A total of 196 artifacts of the Mayan civilization are currently exhibited at the Special Exhibition Gallery of the National Museum of Korea in Seoul’s Yongsan area. The exhibition will be held from Sept. 4, 2012 to Oct. 28, 2012.

The exhibition “Maya 2012” was jointly organized by the Mexican Embassy and the Guatemalan Embassy to commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Korean and the respective Latin American countries.

The exhibition is also a collaborative effort among the National Institute of Anthropology, History of Mexico and the National Museum of Korea to introduce Mayan art to the Korean public.

Guatemala’s Minister of Culture and Sports Carlos Batzin (4th from left in front row) seen with Guatemalan Ambassador Rafael A. Salazar (2nd from left) and Mrs. Salazar.

Koreans can also gain a better understanding of ancestral and advanced cultures of Mexico and Mesoamerica in terms of architecture, mathematics, hieroglyphic writing, agricultural technology and astronomy through this exhibition.

Focusing on the theme of “Life and Death of the Mayan People,” the exhibition chronologically introduces the basis of Mesoamerican civilization — history,religion, myths, astronomy, divination, and script of the civilization of Maya.

The exhibition comprised of two sections “Maya in Mexico” and “Maya in Guatemala”. Amongst the 196 artifacts 96 were from Mexico and 100 were from Guatemala. The 96 pieces that make up “The Mayan Society and Time” came from the Regional Museum of Anthropology “Canton Palace” in the city of Merida where first Korean immigrants came to Mexico in 1905.

The opening ceremony for the exhibition of Civilization of Maya was held at the National Museum of Korea on Sept. 3, 2012.

Scores of top foreign envoys and distinguished guests attended the opening ceremony and toured the exhibition.

The ceremony commenced with a traditional Korean music performance, better known as“pansori,” followed by welcoming speeches by the Mexican Ambassador Martha Ortiz de Rosas and Guatemala’s Minister of Culture and Sports Carlos Batzin.

Mexican Ambassador Martha Ortiz De Rosas (2nd from right) poses with Chairman Pakr Tong-Sun of Parkington International Inc.(PII). To her left is her husband.

The opening ceremony was also graced by the First Deputy Minister of Culture,Tourism and Sports, Mr. Kwak Young-jin, and Director of National Museum of Korea, Mdm. Ki Yong-na. Both expressed their warm welcome and appreciation of the premier exhibition of Maya in their welcoming speeches.

The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization renowned for its art, architecture, mathematical, and astronomical systems. Established during the Pre-Classic period (2000 BC to AD 250), many Maya cities reached their highest state of development during the Classic period (AD 250 to AD 900) and continued throughout the Post-Classic period.

The Mayan influence can be seen in Honduras, Guatemala, western El Salvador and even as far as in Central Mexico. These influences found in Maya art and architecture were believed to result from trade and cultural exchanges over the centuries.

For details or inquiries contact the Guatemalan Embassy in Seoul at 771-7582/3.

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June Low serves as staff writer for The Seoul Times. She graduated from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore with a degree in psychology. Low studied the Korean language at Yonsei University and Sogang University in Seoul. Her hobbies include playing the guitar and the piano.






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