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Written Answers. - National Museum.

Tuesday, 3 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 4

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 289. Mr. Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall  asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Information on John O'Donoghue Zoom on John O'Donoghue  if he has satisfied himself with the development of museums here; the use of national treasures in this regard; his Department's intentions to use or to ensure the use of such treasures which are in storage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24829/02]

Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (Mr. O'Donoghue): Information on John O'Donoghue Zoom on John O'Donoghue The local authorities are responsible for developing county and regional museums. My Department has responsibility for facilitating the development of the National Museum of Ireland. The National Museum is a collecting institution and accordingly will always possess significantly more artefacts than need to be exhibited at any one time. Artefacts in storage in the museum are used extensively for research purposes, particularly in the area of local and regional studies. The National Museum also operates a loans policy which allows original National Museum objects to be lent to museums which [1090] meet the required standards of curatorship, security, environmental control, display and insurance.

The Museum of Country Life in Turlough Park in County Mayo is a branch of the National Museum and was opened in 2001 in order to display the national folk-life collection. This new €19 million facility has afforded the National Museum the opportunity to display much of the museum's folk-life collection, previously held in storage due to lack of suitable exhibition space, in a setting appropriate to the collection. The quality of the Museum of Country Life has been recognised by the Gulbenkian Foundation with the Museum of the Year Award in 2002. This is the first newly commissioned building for the National Museum since 1890.

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