The Korea Herald


[Eye Plus] Day trip to other side of Earth

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : May 29, 2021 - 16:01

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Without having to fly 12,000 kilometers away from Seoul, a private park in Goyang, just 30 minutes’ drive from the capital city, offers unique taste of Latin America.

A two-hour leisurely stroll inside the 11,500-square-meter wide cultural park will be enough to take a tour through a museum, an art exhibition hall, a sculpture park, a replica of a chapel, and a Mayan-style mural, housing a total of over 3,000 items. 

The museum exhibits artifacts from the Maya, Aztec, Inca and Totonac civilizations, such as clay sculptures or stone works depicting deities Huehueteotl, Xipe Totec and Quetzalcoatl, as well as masks. 

These pieces are largely donated by Lee Bok-hyung and his wife Hong Gap-pyo. Lee, a retired diplomat who was formerly ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Argentina and Mexico, established the cultural center in 1994 with Hong to raise awareness of art and culture in the farthest region from his home country. 

Outside the museum is a mural that reflects the ancient Mayan style of painting. As visitors pass a red Hacienda gate, sculptures of contemporary artists from South American countries are on display. The replica of a chapel houses a retablo, or a devotional artwork, by Mexican artist Agustin Parra.

The cultural center opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. from April to October. Closed on Mondays, Seollal and Chuseok.

Photo by Park Hyun-koo
Written by Son Ji-hyoung