Refurbishment commencing in March

PRESS RELEASE: 01 March 2011

Refurbishment of National Gallery’s historic building to commence in March.

Work is due to commence on a major refurbishment of the roof of the Dargan Wing of the National Gallery of Ireland. This will be the first part ofa planned programme of refurbishment works at the National Gallery complex on Merrion Square. The project, which is being managed by the Office of Public Works (OPW), will begin on Monday 7 March. The roof of the Dargan Wing dates to 1864 and is in need of substantial repair. The existing roof lights, replaced in the 1940s, need to be upgraded. The proposed works aim to improve the existing conditions, upgrade the daylight control systems in the exhibition spaces and provide better thermal performance of the roof.

It is planned to undertake further work to the historic buildings in the complex in subsequent years, subject to the availability of funding. The scope of the works is scheduled to include upgrades to the fabric of the building, with improvements to environment (heating and ventilation), lighting and visitor facilities.

With the imminent arrival of the contractor on site, the entrance to the Gallery at Merrion Square West will be closed until further notice. Visitors are directed to use the Millennium Wing entrance located at Clare Street.

Over the past number of months the Gallery has begun to prepare for the project, removing a great many works from display whilst at the same time creating new presentations of the Irish and European collections. This process will continue until early summer when all of the enabling work will be complete.

Throughout the term of the refurbishment project the Gallery is committed to keeping the finest works on display for the enjoyment of visitors. Highlights of the European collection are currently on view in the lower Beit Wing (Room 6) and include masterpieces by Caravaggio, Goya, Rembrandt, Poussin, and Monet. The display will be extended to rooms in the lower Beit Wing over the coming months to include paintings from the British, Dutch, Italian, French and Spanish schools. Highlights of the Gallery’s substantial holding of Irish paintings and its Prints and Drawings collections will be placed on view in the lower Millennium Wing galleries. This arrangement is scheduled for completion by the end of May.

The Gallery will remain open during the refurbishment project and visitors will continue to have access to the collection and research services. Educational programmes will continue to operate, though the venues for talks will change from time to time, with some events being hosted offsite. The Gallery Shop, Restaurant and Café will continue to trade.

Given the impact of the scheduled works programme over the coming few years, patrons are advised to contact the Gallery in advance of their visit to confirm programme details.
Email visitorservices@ngi.ie , telephone (01) 661 5133 or check the Gallery’s new website for regular updates, see www.nationalgallery.ie.

The National Gallery of Ireland apologises to visitors for the disruption and inconvenience caused by the works programme. When completed, the project will deliver a revitalized institution which will not only provide a safe and secure home for the collection but also a wonderful cultural facility that will enrich the lives of all who visit. Updates on progress being made on the project will be posted over the coming months on the Gallery’s website, twitter and facebook pages.