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Chapter 130 Part 2 - The Mysterious Art Museum

A street artist's life changed when he ended up at a mysterious art museum. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Art,Artist,Slice of life,Poor to Rich,Mystery

It's the time of the evening sunset.

I was held up by the journalists for two and a half hours. I've been visited by five different places. Allocating 30 minutes each, it's already this late.

Yona, who returned about an hour ago, is still waiting for me.

After finishing the interviews and returning by taxi, Yona, who was smoking, quickly puts it out and opens the door for me.

"What's this? Why are you doing something you never do?"

Yona scratches his head and laughs.

"Sorry, I didn’t know you were such a famous painter."

"Famous? It's just a temporary buzz."

"Still, not every temporarily buzzed artist gets interviewed by five magazines, Ban."

Hmm, that's true.

Actually, I was also surprised during the interviews. I knew that the store in Milan was a hot topic, but it was my first time hearing that the mural in Roseto Valfortore village was also making news.

According to Isabella, the number of tourists visiting the village will increase after the magazine is published. That's good, I hope it brings some vitality to the village economy.

As we get into the car, Yona asks,

"Where should we go?"

"To a hotel near the airport."

"Great, this ride is on me!"

"What are you talking about?"

"Really, Meloni said she'd kill me if I took money from you. After hearing the journalist say your painting is worth 7,500 euros, she nearly fainted. She took the painting home like a treasure, you know?"

"Is that so?"

"Yeah, when I told her to hang it up, she said she was crazy. She said she's going to wrap it in the finest silk and keep it."

"Haha, it's not that big of a deal."

"I agreed with her too. Really, thank you, Ban."

"Paintings gain meaning when they're seen. Don't just keep it, hang it up. That's all I want."

"Got it! I'll tell my wife."

A small episode with someone I met by chance on a trip.

Isn't this precisely the charm of traveling?

I am very happy right now.

More than being covered by five media outlets, the fact that my landlord brought happiness to someone.

I've changed a lot too.

There was a time when my wish was just to have an interview.

After painting the theater ceiling, I've had some interview experience, so now it doesn’t feel as thrilling.

Is it a feeling of fullness from success?

Well, what does it matter.

Arrogance is poison for an artist, but if it's this kind of happy satiety, I can endure it.

However, this incident, which started off lightly, turned into quite a big deal.

* * *

I traveled to various places and finally arrived in Florence, heading to the Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi).

Walking along the corridor between the two buildings of the Uffizi Palace, with the Arno River in view, I reminisced about the days when I dreamed of visiting Florence after hearing that Monica and Minyoung had studied together at the University of Florence.

"Ban Jeong-hoon, you've made it. Coming all the way here. And that too with someone else's money."

Traveling with someone else's money is the most fun.

Food paid for by someone else tastes the best.

The reason I came here is to see the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Caravaggio, and Rembrandt all in one place.

I don't know if I'll ever get to visit the Louvre in Paris in my life, but right now, this place excites me more than Paris.

I head to the ticket office with a beating heart.

"Entrance fee is 24 euros, so in Korean won... about 35,000 won? Cheap, really cheap."

It's a fortune to see the works of such great masters at this price. No wonder Europeans say art is life.

It would have been easier if I had booked in advance, but since I came without knowing anything, I had to wait a long time in the long ticket line.

After about an hour of waiting, it was finally my turn.

Standing in front of an expressionless staff member, separated by glass, I spoke in the simplest English possible.

"Adult, One."

The female staff member nodded, stamped the ticket, took my credit card, and while processing the payment, she stared at my face.

I, who had seen Westerners usually smile when making eye contact, smiled and greeted her with my eyes.

Then, the female employee's gaze turned towards the table she was sitting at, then back at my face, repeating this a few times, before she suddenly spoke in a slightly elevated tone.


Huh? What? How does she know my name?

"Ah? Yes, yes. My name is Van..."

"Oh my! It's an honor, Mr. Van."

Huh? What's so honorable?

The female employee excitedly picks up a magazine from the table.

"I saw your article!"

Oh, what? I remember taking a photo with the cathedral in the background, but did they use it for the cover?

I awkwardly smiled at my own photo on the cover of the magazine, which prominently displayed the magazine's name and showed me sitting comfortably on a stone wall with the cathedral in the background.


Just a few interviews, and now people recognize me?

Then, a man behind me came up to my side to check my face and suddenly shouted back.

"Van! di questo ragazzo!"

Immediately, people behind him started taking out their phones and began snapping photos wildly.

Confused and standing awkwardly, I awkwardly flashed a 'V' sign as the man suddenly put his arm around me for a photo. What's going on here?

A crowd begins to gather.

I noticed some people didn't seem to know who I was, but they were getting swept up in the crowd mentality, pushing forward to see my face.

As more people crowded around the ticket booth, I made eye contact with the female employee, silently pleading for help.

Fortunately, the quick-witted employee called the security guards, and I, not daring to enter the museum, clutched my ticket and escaped to the back alley to catch my breath.

“What is this?”

What's going on?

A few lines in a magazine and this happens? I'm not even a celebrity.

Then, my phone rings from inside my pocket.

Pulling out my phone, I see Monica's name.

“Hey, Monica.”

-Ban, where are you?

“I'm in Florence right now, and I just had the most bizarre experience. So…….”

I told her about the interviews and the recent incident.

“I heard that there are only a couple of weekly magazines, so it would take some time for the monthly ones to come out. Is the weekly magazine famous or something?”

-Haha, Ban.


-You underestimated Italy, the land of art.

What? I know it's the land of art, but what does that have to do with this?

I can hear Monica's voice over the phone.

-Italians have a great interest in art, and consequently, in artists. It seems you'll have trouble moving around alone now. I'll immediately arrange for a bodyguard through my contacts in Florence.

Wow, a bodyguard?

I'm not Irina, why would I need to walk around with a bodyguard?

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