The Korea Herald


'Basel Night' at Swiss Embassy in Seoul heralds Basel's cultural legacy

By Park Yuna

Published : Oct. 13, 2023 - 21:41

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"Basel Night" at the Swiss Embassy in Seoul, Thursday (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)

The city of Basel in Switzerland is famously known to many people in Seoul for the world’s leading art fair, Art Basel. The city’s top figures in art and architecture gathered at the Swiss Embassy in Seoul on Thursday for "Basel Night," an event aimed at promoting the city's cultural scene in Seoul.

The event was attended by Swiss Ambassador to Korea Dagmar Schmidt Tartagli; Christoph Bosshardt, marketing director of Basel Tourism; Angelle Siyang-Le, director of Art Basel Hong Kong; and Claudia Perren, director of the Basel Academy of Art and Design.

Coinciding with the fourth edition of the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, the Basel cultural event in Seoul highlighted the interaction between the two cities in terms of architectural practices. The city is among 34 cities taking part in Seoul's architecture biennale that runs through Oct.29.

Ahead of “Basel Night,” a panel discussion on the river cities of Basel and Seoul at the Swiss Hanok, titled “Seoul & Basel - A Dialogue on Urban Planning and Building Culture Challenges” took place. The panel discussion was moderated by Chrissie Muhr, artistic director of the first Architecture Week Basel 2022.

The panelists included Beat Aeberhard, head of urban planning and architecture of the Canton of Basel-Stadt, Basel; Simon Hartmann, co-founder and architect HHF, Basel; and Isabel Prinzing, head of communication of Swisspeace, the Basel Peace Forum, based at Kaserne in Basel.

The event “Basel Night” was co-organized by the city of Basel, Basel Tourism and the embassy. Seoul and Basel agreed to cooperate on innovation, signing a memorandum of understanding in 2022 by the president of the Government of the Canton of Basel-Stadt, Beat Jans, and Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon.

“When you think of Switzerland, the city’s beautiful nature comes across one’s mind. But the city of Basel also has an affluent cultural legacy and architectural gems by renowned architects. I hope the city’s cultural scene could spread more in Seoul,” said Kim Ji-in, head of the Korean office of Swiss Tourism.