The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, announced her approval for the commencement of the design phase of the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History redevelopment project.
This is a flagship project in the Minister’s programme of investments under the National Development Plan, which will see many of our much-loved National Cultural Institutions restored, renewed and future-proofed for generations to come. A particular focus of the project at the Natural History Museum is to address long-standing issues with accessibility, to conserve the historic building fabric, and to enhance the visitor experience to tell important stories of our biodiversity and to showcase the unique heritage building.
Commenting on this phase of the project, Minister Martin said, “this is an extremely significant day for the National Museum of Ireland (NMI) as the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History moves to the next phase of this important project under our National Development Plan. The National Museum of Ireland – Natural History occupies a unique place in our cultural landscape and, for me, is growing in importance in terms of the stories the collection tells about our biodiversity.”
“I welcome the work of the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History in using the natural history collection for biodiversity research, including the establishing of a baseline for Ireland’s biodiversity and in increasing awareness of the biodiversity crisis and climate change.”
Commenting on the planning application, Chair of the National Museum of Ireland, Catherine Heaney, said, “the National Museum of Ireland – Natural History site is a much loved and cherished part of our cultural heritage. This investment enables the NMI to take the refurbishment project to the next stage, which will allow for greater accessibility to the building and collection as well as a much improved visitor experience. One hundred and sixty five years since this museum first opened its doors, these collections continue to intrigue and excite visitors of all ages. This work will enable greater engagement with some of the most important global challenges including biodiversity loss and climate change.”
The National Museum of Ireland – Natural History occupies a unique space on Merrion Square and is part of the wider historic campus incorporating the Houses of the Oireachtas, the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, the National Gallery of Ireland and Government Buildings. The project is being progressed by the National Museum of Ireland, in partnership with the OPW, and the tender process to appoint a design team to deliver this next phase of the project will launch in 2023.