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'Korea-France Year' of cultural exchange comes to close

All Headlines 18:00 December 12, 2016

By Woo Jae-yeon

SEOUL, Dec. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's cultural ministry held a ceremony on Monday to officially bring down the curtain on the cultural exchange programs with France that started last year.

In September last year, the two countries started various events to celebrate the 130th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties. The extensive programs cover the two nation's culture, politics, education and technology.

Some 250 officials, including South Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Cho Yoon-sun and French Ambassador to Korea Fabien Penone, attended the closing ceremony at Hotel Shilla in Seoul, where officials from both countries vowed to continue boosting mutual understanding through cultural exchanges.

The programs ran for one year and four months -- the longest of its kind -- in Korea and France, where a total of 227 and 245 programs, ranging from art exhibitions to food festivals, were held respectively.

"Although the official events come to a close today, we will have more exchanges and build a stronger friendship in the coming 130 years," Cho said.

Art Director Choi Joon-ho who prepared for and directed Korean programs that were shown in France said he was very encouraged after receiving many requests from France for additional Korean performances.

"The friendship that we could build through the exchange will nourish cooperation in the cultural sector in the future," he said.

Choi's counterpart Henri Loyrette, former director of the Louvre Museum, also gave out a hopeful message that the two nations should continue their efforts to enhance bilateral exchanges.

French tour industry officials make Korean food as part of the "Korea-France Year" of cultural exchange at the Seoul office of the Korea Tourism Organization on June 14, 2016. (Yonhap)


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