National maritime museum opens on west coast

By Shim Woo-hyun
  • Published : Nov 18, 2019 - 17:51
  • Updated : Nov 18, 2019 - 17:51

A national maritime museum has opened in Taean-gun, South Chungcheong Province, opening up its entire exhibition space and its maritime artifact collection to the public.

The Taean Maritime Museum partially opened its exhibition space in December last year and introduced some of its collection. About 60,000 visitors have come to the museum to date, the institution reported. 

An aerial view shows the Taean Maritime Museum, located in Taean-gun, South Chungcheong Province. (Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea)

The museum has recently finished works to open its other exhibition halls, in which the museum will present its 30,000 maritime artifacts found in the nearby regions of the West Sea. The number of artifacts the museum holds accounts for about 25 percent of all Korean maritime artifacts, according to officials from the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage -- a subsidiary body of the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea dedicated to excavations and research of Korean underwater cultural heritage.

Of the Taean Maritime Museum’s collection, about 25,000 items have been found in the Taean-gun region, due to its position as part of sea routes between cities on the West Sea as well as those to China in the past.

In 2007, the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage started to work on excavations in the Taean-gun region to find five shipwrecks and some 25,000 traditional artifacts. The collection also includes cultural objects found in other West Sea areas around Incheon and Gyeonggi Province.

Following major excavations since 2007, the maritime cultural heritage institution saw growing needs for a space dedicated to preserve and showcase Korea’s maritime heritage. The institution in 2012 took charge of building the Taean Maritime Museum.

At the museum, visitors will be able to see artifacts including traditional celadon ceramics from the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392), as well as pottery used to carry local products. Daily life objects, like cooking ware and dishes that sailors used on the ships, are also part of the collection now shown at the museum. 

An installation view of “Mado Shipwreck No.1” (Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea)

In a separate exhibition hall, the museum has also produced a full-scale replica of a cargo ship from the early 13th century used between Naju, South Jeolla Province, and Kaesong, North Hwanghae Province, in what is now North Korea.

By Shim Woo-hyun (