A world-famous furniture museum, a traditional home and an age-old tea-drinking ritual on Monday were highlights of the first day of the visit to South Korea by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. Accompanied by Federal Home Affairs Minister Pieter de Crem and Brussels Premier Rudi Vervoort, the royal couple had a meeting with the Korean Furniture Museum’s general director, Joshua Jung Sun Park, and its proprietor, Chyung Mi-Sook, on Monday afternoon (Korean time).
They toured the museum gardens, where they discovered the traditional hanoks -Korean- and were able to take photographs of the enchanting surroundings. In the museum itself, they visited a temporary exposition, then took off their shoes, entered the Noble’s House, then sat down to sip tea in the traditional South Korean way.
The visit gave the King and Queen an idea of the historic and cultural heritage of South Korea.
Officiously opened in 2008 after 14 years of construction, the Korean Furniture Museum has over 2,500 pieces of traditional wooden furniture. It was designed by owner-director Chyung Mi-Sook, an avid collector who, over a period of five decades, gathered together hundreds of pieces of furniture from the Joseon Dynasty, which ruled Korea from 1392 to 1910.