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1 in 3 regional museums substandard: report

About 34.7 percent of the museums run by regional governments have failed the government’s certification system, according to a Culture Ministry data submitted to an opposition lawmaker.

Rep. Kim Jae-won of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party said Thursday that 66 of the 187 public museums across the country fell short of the standards set by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. 

Rep. Kim Jae-won (Yonhap)
Rep. Kim Jae-won (Yonhap)

The ministry has been assessing the public museums via its certification system implemented last year, which includes criteria such as their operation, maintenance of their collections, special exhibits and efforts to attract more visitors.

Over 77 percent of the museums in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province passed, as over half of those in the North Chungcheong, North Gyeongsang and Gangwong provinces failed.

“A number of public museums have been built with no regard to the actual demand. Without proper efforts to host more visitors, they are just wasting tax money,” Kim said, urging regional governments to come up with content to attract more visitors.

The budget spent on the museums run by regional governments last year was 12 billion won ($10.75 million), down from 15.4 billion won the year before.

By Yoon Min-sik