Magician Lee Eun-gyeol has been named a recipient of a 2011 Merlin Award, making him the first Korean to receive the most prestigious honor bestowed by The International Magicians Society (IMS).
A statement by Lee's agency EG Project announced Thursday that the 29-year-old magician has been named magician of the year by IMS, established in 1968 and currently the world's largest magic organization with over 37,000 members.
IMS recognizes the best talents in magic industry every year with the Merlin Award which is equivalent to the Oscars in the film industry.
"This is an award that global magicians such as David Copperfield and Siegfried & Roy received. As much as I'm representing Korea by receiving this award, I'll do my best to fulfill the responsibility and duty handed to me so that magic will become loved more by people," Lee was quoted as saying in a statement by his agency EG Project on Thursday.
Tony Hassini, IMS World President, Chairman and CEO will visit Korea on Sunday to present the award to Lee currently on tour throughout the country.
Lee started his career as a magician while in high school and cultivated talent to become recognized as the top magician in Korea.
He has won over half a dozen international awards starting with his first win at the 2001 Japan UGM magic competition to the top prize in general magic at the 2006 International Federation of Magic Societies.
Jessica Kim jesskim@
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