Belfast Telegraph

Grand Opera House in Belfast reveals restored exterior

The Grand Opera House in Belfast has lifted the curtain on its newly restored exterior.

Over the past four months, one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic buildings has undergone extensive restoration, cleaning and painting.

The façade, which is built of brick and cast stone, features an eclectic mix of ornamental elements including decorative columns and oriental style onion-domes and minarets, all of which have been expertly restored, cleaned and repainted.

Also, the Theatre’s iconic statue of Mercury, the winged messenger of the gods, situated on the corner of the building has undergone a transformation.

The statue, which originally held aloft an electric lit torch, has been fully restored and once again shines bright above Great Victoria Street having been gold leafed, thanks to a private donation.

Ian Wilson, chief executive of the Grand Opera House, said: “122 years ago theatre architect Frank Matcham bestowed on Belfast one of his most imaginative and opulent creations.

"The Grand Opera House is one of Belfast’s most iconic buildings, the city’s foremost cultural asset, and the only remaining Victorian theatre in Northern Ireland.

“The works are the most comprehensive restoration of the Theatre’s exterior in forty years and demonstrates the Grand Opera House Trust’s commitment to maintaining and protecting the fabric and heritage of this important listed building for future generations.”

Meanwhile, the final plans for a significant restoration project for 2020 are still being put together and will see the Grand Opera House's auditorium returned to its former glory.

The restoration will be completed in time to celebrate the venue's 125th anniversary in December 2020.

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