Decorative Screen
A gift to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from the Secretary
General of the Labour Party of Korea, president of the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim Il Sung, 1984
Varnished wood screen, inlaid with nacre.
In 1984 Korean leader Kim Il Sung paid an official visit
to the Soviet Union.
The president of North Korea travelled through the whole
country from Siberia to the Yaroslavl railway station in
Moscow on his special train. He wanted to witness the changes
which happened in the Soviet Union over the 20 years he had not
been there. Comrade Kim Il Sung brought with him numerous
including some that were extremely valuable.
Kim Il Sung's portrait
Author: unknown Photograph
This canvas exhibits the scenery
of the holy Korean mountain of
Myohyangsan, or “the mount of
mysterious aroma,” known for its
fragrant forests. In the middle of this
composition is the façade of one of
the main North Korean museums,
“The Exhibition of International
Friendship” located in a scenic
gorge of mount Myohyangsan. This
museum is considered a national
treasure of North Korea, a
must-see for any foreign delegation.
This huge museum (23 000 m2) houses
houses a collection of gifts to Kim
Il Sung whose origins date back
to 1945
International Friendship Exhibition, North Korea
Collection custodian:
“Such screens are integral pieces of imperial interiors in South Asia. At first
sight they seem to be just decorative tools to divide space. However, even being
richly decorated with precious stones, such screens have not lost their sacral
significance: since ancient times these screens were placed in front of the
entrance to a residence, to keep evil spirits away.”
The last visit of comrade Kim Il Sung, to the Soviet Union, took place in the
beginning of the era of “great changes,” in 1986. That time he flew into
оMoscow on a plane specially sent for him from the Soviet Union and personally
met the then leader of the country, Mikhail Gorbachev.
The North Korean leader did not like the ongoing reforms in the Soviet Union –
“glasnost, perestroika, acceleration.” “Recently some of the socialist countries
have been swinging from the right to the left, lacking a clear vision of how they
should proceed in building socialism. We should not take these revisionist
policies as an example. One should follow their own way from start to finish,”
Kim Il Sung concluded. And North Korea is still sticking to this piece of advice,
quite tough in practical terms.