Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon will visit Rome (Vatican) and Milan (Lombardy) in Italy between September 7 (Thursday) and 12 (Tuesday), 2017. The visit was planned in conjunction with the opening ceremony of the special exhibition “On earth as it is in heaven! Seoul and 230 Years of the Catholic Church in Korea” held at Vatican City, the heart of Catholicism, to celebrate the 230 years of history of the Catholic Church in Korea.
The exhibition is the first Korea-related special exhibition held at the Vatican Museum, one of the three leading museums in the world. 203 pieces of Catholic relics from Korea will be on display. The event, which was first proposed by the Vatican Museum in celebration of the three year anniversary of Pope Francisco’s visit to Korea, will be held as a solo exhibition for over 70 days without being charged for venue rental fees.
The exhibition is not a mere display of religious artifacts but a special exhibition that focuses on explaining the history of Catholicism in Korea under the pretext of the rapidly changing early modern times and the unique characteristics of the City of Seoul over the last 230 years. Historic objects from the Seoul Museum of History will also be included in the collection.
During his visit, Mayor Park will also visit Milan to seek cooperation in fashion at the city of fashion home to one of the world’s top 4 fashion week programs, and work on expanding city diplomatic relations with major cities in Italy including Rome, Milan and Lombardy.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has entered into a sister city relationship with Italy’s capital, Rome, in 2000 and a friendship city relationship with Italy’s second largest city and economic center, Milan, in 2007.
Mayor Park said, “I am glad that a special exhibition celebrating the 230 years of Catholic history in Korea will be held at the Vatican for the first time and consider it a great honor that the Seoul Museum of History can be part of planning such a memorable exhibition.” He added, “Through this visit, I will meet up with the Mayors of Rome and Milan and the people in the fashion industry at the two cities to ensure that the networking will result in the development of the fashion and culture industries of Seoul.”