Re: Re: National Gallery Extension

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The media in this country is a joke. How on earth is nobody taking an interest in this project, never mind running with a departmental press release at face value?

This project – one of the largest construction sites in the country – has been beavering away for over a year, involving high level conservation and the input of heavy hitters Heneghan Peng Architects, yet nobody has an iota that this is going on! One of the largest roofing contracts ever undertaken in Dublin has already been completed. Is there any civic pride left in Dublin? The €20 million figure is also way out.

The usual scatty report on RTÉ News last night was equally diabolical, with barely a mention of the architectural significance of the building or the architects involved, nor the radical proposals to re-open and reinstate a number of concealed Victorian features, or the proposed contemporary interventions which will significantly re-shape the complex. Where was the Director of the National Gallery last night? Why wasn’t the conservation team interviewed? Why weren’t we told of the building’s operating challenges and proposed solutions? Where are the experts on the complex telling us about this magnificent national amenity and their vision for it?

This is one of the most important projects happening in Dublin – as it would be in either boom time or recession – and yet it is all but being concealed from the populace, inadvertently aided by a blindly ignorant media. It is also patently apparent that all this stock being placed on 1916 is to conceal the fact that the GPO reordering is a dead duck and there is nothing else in the pipeline. So much easier to tenuously latch a national commemorative event onto an existing construction project, even if it is as removed as the National Gallery of Ireland. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was attached to the refurb of the Spar on Dame Street if it was seen as the only game in town.

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