Ministers Deenihan, Howlin and Hayes visit National Gallery of Ireland to mark commencement of major refurbishment works.
Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Brendan Howlin TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and Brian Hayes TD, Minister of State for the Office of Public Works, have visited the National Gallery of Ireland at the commencement of a €26 million refurbishment project on the historic building.
The Ministers were accompanied by the Chair of the National Gallery Dr Olive Braiden, Director Mr Sean Rainbird, and Mr Eamon Booth, Managing Director, John Paul Construction.
This major renovation project is being jointly funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the National Gallery of Ireland and the Office of Public Works. The project is expected to support approximately 280 jobs over its lifetime, and is expected to take 24 months to complete. The contract for the project has been awarded to John Paul Construction Ltd following a tendering process which was completed in late 2013.
The refurbishment, which coincides with the Gallery’s 150th anniversary, will include:
• The repair and restoration of the fabric of the Dargan and Milltown Wings, and the Merrion Entrance, whilst upgrading the buildings to modern gallery standards.
• The installation of 21st century climate, heating, fire suppression, electrical, lighting and security systems.
• The reopening of Victorian features and spaces within the building previously unseen by the public.
• The conversion of spaces between the wings for public use and as exhibition spaces to include the provision of a sculpture court
• The protection and preservation of the building itself, as well as the provision of universal access for all visitors throughout the building.
Minister Deenihan said: “It gives me immense pride to be here today at the start of an historic project in one of our most important historic buildings. The National Gallery of Ireland, now in its 150th year, is a leading national cultural institution with a globally important collection of European and international art. This project marks a rebirth for the historic Dargan and Milltown Wings and will safeguard these historic buildings, and the priceless works of art that they hold, for future generations.”