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Britain asks for S. Korean guidance on COVID-19 safety in performing arts

Art/Culture 23:02 June 03, 2020

SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) -- Britain made an official request to South Korea for advice and guidance on safety measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in the cultural sector, the government here said Wednesday.

Park Yang-woo, minister of culture, sports and tourism, held a video conference with his British counterpart, Oliver Dowden, on Wednesday evening to discuss bilateral cooperation in the area of culture, media and sports, the cultural ministry said.

According to the ministry, Dowden commended South Korea on the swift and effective measures in managing the spread of COVID-19, pointing out that "The Phantom of the Opera," a popular West End musical, was being performed in Seoul.

The British secretary asked Park to share Seoul's guidelines in operating live performances and concerts, the ministry said.

This photo provided by the culture ministry shows Park Yang-woo (R), South Korean culture minister, holding a video conference meeting with his British counterpart, Oliver Dowden (on monitor), at a government complex in Seoul on June 3, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Park, according to the ministry, shared with Dowden details of South Korea's implementation of strong health and sanitary measures while also allowing everyday leisure and cultural activities, such as mandatory masks during shows and seat distributions under strict social distancing guidelines.

Dowden shared details of his talks with Park on Twitter.

"We discussed challenges facing our sectors & also how we can start to reopen with safety precautions. Fascinating to hear what they've been doing to reopen West End shows safely," Dowden wrote.

Arrangements for talks between the two cultural chiefs were reportedly made after Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer of "The Phantom of the Opera," urged the British government to follow the example of South Korea to save the country's performing arts industry.

A scene from the 2020 Seoul run of the musical "The Phantom of the Opera" provided by Stagetalk (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr
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