THE adage “by their actions shall ye know them” is a time-honoured and reliable guide.
A newer version of it, “by its art galleries, orchestras, nightclubs and bars shall ye know a city” may not be as widely known just yet but it is as true and equally reliable.
By that criteria, Dublin played a trump card when our National Gallery reopened fully after renovation works, to the galleries and the artworks in its care, in recent days. The renovation works, estimated to cost €30m, began in 2011 and are a once-in-a-lifetime commitment to preserving the nation’s art treasures. This is a considerable sum in the context of the time and all of the other demands on the public purse. Those who secured this funding and orchestrated the restoration are to be congratulated. The gallery was established in 1854 and houses over 16,300 works of art. More than 150 pieces were acquired by the gallery since it closed for refurbishment in 2011. Of course the very best way to celebrate all of this is to visit your gallery and bask in the humanity and magnificence of some of the work on display.
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