Limerick City Gallery of Art , Source: Limerick City and County Council

Limerick City Gallery of Art counts the hours to reopening

Limerick City Gallery of Art counts the hours to reopening

Phase 3 of the accelerated roadmap for Ireland’s reopening begins on 29 June

Limerick City Gallery of Art gears up for its reopening to the public, counting down the time with an ingenious audio installation. The Blurry Clock, installed at the main entrance to the Carnegie Building which houses the gallery, sounds for two minutes, every hour on the hour between 10 am and 6 pm daily.

The clock will do this until Monday, 29 June, when the doors of the gallery reopen after the Covid-19 lockdown. The sounds for the work were created by the staff and students of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.

From next week, visitors to the gallery will be able to view and explore again many of the fascinating pieces from the Permanent Collection, which have been nodding behind closed doors since March.

However, one of the jewels of the Permanent Collection, The Mushroom Book, will not be available. It is on extended loan to Somerset House, London for its exhibition Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi. There are only two copies of this book in public collections, one housed in LCGA and the second in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York.

EUR 25 million to help the cultural sector survive

As part of the accelerated roadmap for reopening Ireland, museums, galleries, cinemas, concert halls and other cultural outlets can reopen on 29 June, when a revised Phase 3 will begin. Announcing their reopening alongside places of worship, gyms, hairdressers/barbers and sporting venues, PM Leo Varadkar was adamant that the 2m social distancing must be observed. Mass gatherings will be limited to 50 people indoors and 200 people outdoors, and if the virus keeps a “low profile”, numbers will rise to 100 people indoors and 500 people outdoors in Phase 4 (on 20 July).

In fact, the social distancing rules and the limits on attendance is what troubles the cultural sector the most as they will make economic viability quite difficult. According to a report by the Expert Advisory Group to the Arts Council, quoted by RTE, if social distancing is maintained, venues could see their seating reduced to 15% of normal capacity.

Among the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Group were the maintenance of wage supports, a more sparing taxation practice, a capital funding scheme for arts buildings and fair remuneration for artists. Last week the government allocated EUR 25 million to help the arts industry weather the storm, and the news was widely welcomed across the sector. 



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