PLANS for the Jim Kemmy municipal museum to move into the old Opera Centre site have been held up.
Instead, the museum, which holds hundreds of artefacts from the city’s history will find a home in the Istabraq Hall exhibition room at City Hall.
The museum is moving away from its current location in Castle Lane in the next few weeks to allow for the multi-million euro upgrade of King John’s Castle.
Councilliors had agreed that on a temporary basis, it would become the first tenant of the newly-purchased Opera Centre site, with the old AIB unit to be used.
Now, arts officer Sheila Deegan has confirmed that due to the fact the job of refurbishing the Patrick Street unit will have to go to tender, the museum will move to the Istabraq Hall temporarily. She added it will remain there for around six months.
But Sinn Fein’s northside councillor Maurice Quinlivan is not impressed, asking the question as to why it has taken until now for tenders to be advertised.
“There has been no consultation about this, the staff has not spoken to councillors. I had to learn this from a trader myself. The Istabraq Hall is not big enough: we are trying to expand the city museum and get people into it. At the moment, the current museum is on two floors, and is twice the size of the hall. There are already too many [artefacts] in storage, meaning the council cannot show what they have,” he said.
Cllr Quinlivan urged the city authorities to ensure the City Museum eventually returns to the King’s Island area.
“We are going to be a city of culture in 2014, and there is no better lasting memorial to this than a new City Museum. We have a brilliant location in Nicholas Street, and I think this is where we should look at,” he concluded.