The National Museum of Korea is the flagship museum of Korean history and art in South Korea and is the cultural organization that represents Korea. It was first established in 1945. In October 2005, the museum opened in a new building in Yongsan Family Park in Seoul, South Korea. The museum contains over 150,000 pieces in its collection with 11,000 on display at one time. It claims to be the largest museum in Asia and the sixth-largest museum in the world in terms of floor space, covering 307,227 square feet (28,542.3 m2).
Emperor Sunjong established Korea's first museum, the Imperial Household Museum, in 1908 CE in the waning days of the Joseon Dynasty. The collection of the Imperial Household Museum at Changgyeonggung and the later Japanese Government General Museum, during the Japanese rule of Korea, became the nucleus of the National Museum's collection which was established when South Korea gained independence in 1945 CE. During the Korean War, the 20,000 of the museum's pieces were safely moved to Busan to avoid destruction. When the museum came back to Seoul after the war it was housed at both Gyeongbokgung and Deoksugung Palace. In 1972, the museum moved again to a new building on the grounds of the Gyeonbokgung palace. The museum was moved again in 1986 to the Jungangcheong, the former Japanese General Government Building, which housed the museum until it was demolished 1995.