Delegates and a dance theater group from Burbank’s sister city of Incheon, South Korea, commemorated the 50-year relationship this week with dance performances, dinners and, on Tuesday, the ribbon-cutting for sculptures symbolizing the friendship.
The sculptures, called “Mutualism” by artist Oh Soon Mi, were recently installed in front of the Northwest Branch Library.
“The idea of Mutualism is about two cultures coming together and talking,” Library Services Director Sharon Cohen said, adding that the blue sculpture represents Burbank, the pink, Incheon.
The metal sculptures, about 6 feet tall, face each other as if they are having a conversation.
Cohen noted that a 5-ton crane was needed to lift the sculptures and place them on their stainless steel bases.
Incheon Metropolitan City Dance Theatre performed for about 15 minutes in what was an encore presentation of their event Monday evening at Bell-Jeff High School.
Since 1961, Incheon and Burbank have officially shared in what Mayor Jess Talamantes called a close relationship.
“Any time we can reach out to our neighbors, we’re creating life-long partnerships,” Talamantes said before the ceremony began.
Incheon Deputy Mayor Jin-Young Kim said before the ceremony that the relationship with Burbank began around the time of the Korean War.
“At the time, there was the Korean War and people were suffering from poverty,” Kim said through his interpreter, Min Jeong Kang. “We asked many nations to help us and Burbank responded and donated 500 books to our library in Incheon.”
Kim described Burbank as small, but stable and organized, and said “people are living peacefully.”
Incheon’s deputy mayor also took an interest in the state’s push toward renewable energy.
Burbank Water and Power made a presentation on its efforts to meet the state’s mandate for more renewable energy — efforts that Kim said were impressive.