€40k work to begin on Crawford Gallery’s lecture theatre

Repairs to the Crawford Gallery’s lecture room, which has been closed since March after the partial collapse of a roof light, are due to get under way soon after a €40,000 grant was sanctioned.

A spokesperson for the Cork City gallery, the only member of the Council of National Cultural Institutions outside Dublin, said the work should take about six weeks to complete, at which point the lecture theatre should reopen.

Problems with the room’s ceiling area first emerged over two years ago, forcing management to close a large blind under the light. Following the collapse in March of a wooden structure and a glass panel in the ceiling, management was forced to close the lecture theatre on health and safety grounds.

The room, with tiered seating, was regularly hired and the closure forced the cancellation of several events, hitting an important part of the gallery’s self- generating income stream.

Following a request for emergency funding, Arts Minister Heather Humphreys has now sanctioned a capital grant of €40,000 to fund the repairs.

The money will cover the replacement of the roof light with a new double-glazed light, and the installation of a mechanical blind in the lecture theatre which will allow the room to be lit naturally.

Heather Humphreys
Heather Humphreys

Fine Gael senator Jerry Buttimer said: “The Crawford Art Gallery attracts over 200,000 visitors a year and is vital for tourism and culture in Cork and Munster. I am delighted that this funding can be used to improve the facilities there and provide a better visitor experience for all.”

A spokesperson for the gallery said, given its listed structure status, plans for the repairs have been prepared in consultation with the city council’s conservation officer.

It is envisaged the repairs will get under way within two weeks, with hopes the lecture theatre could be open again by the end of August.

The gallery, which houses one of the country’s most important collections of Irish art, is free to visit and is open from 10am to 5pm, Mondays to Saturday, with late opening until 8pm on Thursdays.

The section which houses the gallery was erected in 1724 as Cork’s Custom House and its art collection was formed in 1819. The gallery was designated a national cultural institution in 2006. Today, it houses a permanent collection of some 2,500 pieces of art.


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