The city of Seoul has declined a proposal by families of the victims of the Itaewon crowd crush to install a memorial space in downtown Gwanghwamun Plaza.
According to the city government on Friday, a task force on the Itaewon tragedy set up by the civic group Minbyun, or Lawyers for a Democratic Society, early this week asked an interior ministry team about whether the families can put such a memorial structure in the prominent downtown area.
The Seoul metropolitan government, however, turned them down, citing a violation of the principle of an open public square. The families, whose loved ones were among the 159 who died as a result of the tragic crowd crush in October last year, received the official reply the following day.
One city official explained that installing a fixed structure in an area with heavy foot traffic that is open to the public is not feasible due to safety concerns, among others.
The city instead proposed that a similar space be created at Noksapyeong subway station, close to the site of the tragedy, to which the families have yet to respond.
Bereaved families also requested that the city government allow the use of the same downtown plaza for a rally on Saturday to mark the 100th day of the tragic event, which the city also turned down.