We welcome you to the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage, one of Korea's most popular visitor destinations.
The history of Korea's underwater cultural heritage only began in 1975 with a fisherman's discovery of celadon ware off the coast of Sinan, not far from where this Institute stands. It turned out that the ceramic was from an East Asian merchant vessel that sank in the area some 650 years ago. The excavation of the “treasure vessel” instantly emerged as hot news in the global community. The treasures in the vessel have been put on display not just in Korea but also in a number of East Asian countries for the purpose of sharing them as widely as possible. The treasures have also been subjects of a number of international symposiums.
Korea began to pay keen attention to "the country's history preserved in underwater cultural properties" and "the country's maritime cultural heritage" as more discoveries of underwater cultural assets have been made in hundreds of locations. The government upgraded a branch office in Mokpo to an exhibition facility in 1994 and in 2009 to a research center, - the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage - to protect recovered maritime assets, to engage in more excavation projects and to carry out in-depth researches on cultural assets.
The sea is itself a huge dynamic "museum," although unlike conventional museums, it contains plenty of mysteries. Accordingly, NRMCH will continue to discover more of the country's great underwater cultural heritage. NRMCH will also do its best to unveil the historical sailing routes in East Asia. The Institute will never stop "sailing and exploring" in the true tradition of its ancestors.
In the meantime, the Institute will reach out to world-renowned research institutes of maritime cultural heritage and a number of maritime museums for exchange of information and implementation of joint researches. It will build a strong global network of cooperation with fellow institutes and museums in a more proactive approach to the issue. This Institute will always be happy to introduce Korea' maritime culture to the global community, as well as fellow citizens in Korea. I personally look forward to your full cooperation to make this Institute, located in the beautiful city of Mokpo, a cultural facility everyone would like to visit − not just once, but a number of times. The entire staff of this Institute and I will always be happy to serve you.