Veteran sculptor appointed special adviser for envisioned N.K. human rights center

South Korea's unification minister on Friday appointed renowned sculptor Yoo Keun-sang as a special adviser for an envisioned center designed to shed light on North Korea's dire human rights situation. Under the 26 billion won (US$19.8 million) project, the ministry aims to build the National North Korean Human Rights Center in western Seoul by the second half of 2026 to raise public awareness on the human rights issue. Yoo, known for his unique use of light and color, said he hopes to bring such positive energy to raise global awareness on the grim reality of North Korea's human rights violations. "Rather than perceiving human rights in a dismal light, I had the notion of bringing that out into a brighter world," Yoo, president of the Central Institute for Restoration in Italy, told reporters following his appointment. "I would like to change it into a message of hope." In addition to creating a space to shed light on North Korea's human rights situations, Yoo said he would like to feature works of sur viving North Korean artists and exhibit North Korean cultural artifacts at the center in the long term. Yoo also suggested delivering a message on North Korean human rights through the Vatican to help resolve the issue. Unification Minister Kim Yung-ho voiced hope that the envisioned center will become a "hub" to inform the world of the North's dire human rights situation and said he will use Yoo's advice to turn the center into a symbolic venue. Source: Yonhap News Agency