05/02/2015 Ministers Humphreys and Harris survey progress at multi million euro National Gallery upgrade
Project is generating 300 jobs and is on track for completion by 2016
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, accompanied by Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Simon Harris TD, today (Thursday) visited the National Gallery of Ireland (NGI) to survey on-site progress of its multi million refurbishment project.
The total cost of the project, which is being funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the OPW and the NGI, is expected to be in excess of €30 million. The Ministers’ visit comes as the second phase of construction gets underway.
The project, which is generating 300 full-time construction and specialist jobs, is the biggest refurbishment of the National Gallery since it opened in 1864. It involves the repair of the Milltown Wing roof, (and) significant upgrading of the Dargan Wing (1864) (and) the Milltown Wing (1903) and the Merrion Entrance whilst upgrading the buildings to current gallery standards. It will also see the introduction of an energy centre in the forecourt and enhanced fire and security control systems, as well the reopening of Victorian features and spaces within the buildings for the optimum presentation of its own collections.
Speaking after the visit Minister Humphreys said:
“I am delighted to see such considerable progress being made at the National Gallery. This refurbishment project represents a major investment by the Government, via my own Department, together with the Office of Public Works and the National Gallery of Ireland, with total costs of more than €30 million.
“The project will provide Dublin with a world class exhibition space, by returning the Milltown and Dargan Wings to their former glory. It will open up new areas to the public, including an atrium space, allowing for greater navigation about the building, and will include the installation of state-of-the-art climate control systems. I was very pleased to get an update that the project is being delivered on time, and is on track for 2016.”
Minister Harris said:
“This project is an example of what joined up government can achieve. My Office, together with Minister Humphreys’ Department and the National Gallery of Ireland, has ensured that one of the most significant national cultural institutions of the State will be a greater attraction for travelling international exhibits and provide an enhanced environment for the display and enjoyment of the Gallery’s collection.”
Michael Cush SC, Chairman, NGI Board said:
“The completion of this refurbishment project will provide the National Gallery with a great platform from which to complete its Master Development Programme (MDP).”