Monday, May 23, 2011

Those Princely Treasures!


Sorry about not writing the last couple of days... life was catching-up with me and stuff.

Mostly, it's been good, as one of my favourite people has once again returned to Korea for an extended visit. Lex, who had previously lived and worked in Korea for about 6 years, went-off to Australia to pursue her Master's in teaching English as a second language in the late winter. With the semester over, she's back here in Seoul until roughly the middle of August which is a good thing.

As the rabbit described it in a message the other day, Lex is kind of like a "happy virus". Most of the compliments I could give about the lady would result in mass hyperbole, so let me just add that she's a good girl to have around.

The National Museum of Korea is also one of Lex's favourite places in Seoul - it may top her list, actually. So, Ed, the rabbit, and myself met Lex there for an afternoon of roaming about - from the Neolithic action, through the Joseon shenanigans, to the big ol' Buddha's on the 3rd floor.

This is the most impressive museum I've ever been in, though I admit that my world travel has been limited so far. Still, this is the 6th largest museum in the world and it is a must-see for any visitor to Seoul.

The traveling exhibit this time around was entitled “Princely Treasures: European Masterpieces 1600-1800 from the Victoria and Albert Museum”. And it was just about exactly as it sounds.

For a dude who's never been to Europe, I was pretty impressed - at least as impressed as I'm liable to get over a gem-encrusted snuff box used by Friedrich II. There be a great deal of pomp on display in this place - huge marble busts, lots of lace, and tapestries galore. But perhaps the most telling artifact among them is a huge silver "perfume burner" used to cover-up the smell that comes from lace, silk, and jewel encrusted Europeans in heavy wigs who hadn't yet met any Asians from whom to gain some hints about personal hygiene.

If you go, English language MP3 players are available to help bring some of these artifacts to life. Also, if you go - go with Lex, as she will infuse you, too, with happiness and her seemingly unending knowledge about all things museum. She might even entertain you as she takes photos of the wood inlay floor. Unfortunately, not even flash-less photography is allowed inside the special exhibit, which is why these photos are from the museum's main exhibition hall. "Princely Treasures" is on display until the 28th of August, and I'm guessing that with Seoul's summer humidity, they're going to get plenty of use out of that perfume burner.

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