On December 1, Fantagio announced the relocation of Moonbin's memorial to the Seonunsa Temple in Gochang, Jeollabukdo, a move met with mixed reactions from fans mourning the idol's death.
In the wake of ASTRO's Moonbin's recent passing, his entertainment agency Fantagio's handling of the idol's memorial has drawn criticism from the group's fandom, Aroha. Initially, a memorial area was set up for Moonbin within the company building, but it was later relocated.
Fantagio announced that the memorial, named "Moon's Space," had been moved to the Gukcheongsa temple. This space not only exhibited Moonbin's memorabilia but also showcased fan letters and gifts. Fans were encouraged to visit the memorial to find solace in nature while honouring Moonbin. In June 2023, his fellow members, Eunwoo and Sanha, visited the memorial.
Unexpectedly, on December 1, Fantagio announced the relocation of Moonbin's memorial to the Seonunsa Temple in Gochang, Jeollabukdo, a move met with mixed reactions from fans mourning the idol's death.
"The operation of "Moon’s Space" in Gukcheongsa has come to an end. From December 2, 2023, onwards, a new "Moon’s Space" will be announced further, to be operated at Seonunsa. For the Aroha that come to visit from far away, the monks there will be providing free meals. If you did not pre-book a temple stay or are struck with unforeseen circumstances after 8 PM and have to stay a day longer, there is a resting space where you can sleep the night and leave the next day" Fantagio stated.
Fans were troubled by the abrupt shift in the memorial's location for several reasons. Firstly, there are allegations from fans that the company has entered into a business agreement with the temple, purportedly for the advancement of the K-Pop cultural industry.
Secondly, concerns have been raised about personal items cherished by Moonbin during his lifetime and letters from his friends being exhibited in the new memorial. Fans express distress at the notion of Moonbin's life being presented as if it were an exhibition.
Additionally, the temple stay initiative is seen as encouraging both foreign and domestic travellers to visit the memorial, adding to the fans' unease.
"The new "Moon’s Space" will be located in Seonunsa, a Buddhist temple with a deep history, in Gochang, Jeollabukdo. This is so that we can commemorate him forever, for a longer time, as well as safely install his ancestral tablet. We will also be displaying the existing post-its and letters, as well as some times that Moonbin treasured during his life in the new "Moon's Space", in place of candles" the agency added.
Contrarily, according to an official announcement on the fan cafe, Fantagio stated that the decision to relocate the memorial space was influenced by the challenging accessibility of the roads leading to Gukcheongsa. Additionally, the need for a more permanent space to commemorate the star was emphasized, as his tablet was not intended to undergo further relocation. Consequently, an agreement was reached with Seonunsa for the new location.
"Seonunsa is operating a temple stay for domestic and foreign travellers, and also for those who want it, they can spend time with Moonbin’s memories. The temple stay program is operated by Seonunsa, separately from Fantagio, and you can take into account the following [homepage link and email] for questions regarding it," Fantagio stated.
A boycott against the company was initiated by fans, and a leaflet was circulated on social media. They even trended the hashtag "#Fantagio_boycott" with fans demanding a transparent explanation from the company regarding the relocation and agreement.
Moonbin, a cherished singer, passed away on April 19, 2023, at the age of 25. He was discovered lifeless at his residence in southern Seoul.
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