Minister of Arts Jimmy Deenihan declared the newly developed Limerick City Gallery of Arts to be “one of the key galleries in the country” when he officially opened the €1.7m redevelopment.
Speaking at the opening of the development, which has created a new café, social and exhibition spaces and specialised storage facilities for the gallery’s permanent collection, Minister Deenihan said that the extensive redevelopment to the Carnegie building was “very important for Limerick”.
“I think it is quite exciting and it provides a great opportunity for Limerick to promote itself as a city of culture, it is a city of sport, but I think it can also be a city of culture and it probably could market itself similar to Galway, which has benefited considerably from cultural activities,” said the minister.
“These improvements were undertaken because they were recognised as critical to the Limerick City Gallery of Art advancing its position as one of the key galleries in the country,” he added.
A large crowd of artists, politicians and curious passers-by witnessed the official opening of two major exhibitions, which were programmed to mark the extension to the gallery, which has played home to the city’s municipal collection since 1948.
The building was built in 1908 and is a protected structure, something architects Hugh Murray and John O’Reilly had to contend with when designing the new wings, which face onto the People’s Park.