Belfast Telegraph

Derry's Guildhall will be closed for start of culture year

By Anne Madden

One of Londonderry’s most historic attractions, the Guildhall, will be closed for the start of the UK City of Culture year in 2013.

The council building closes this weekend for multi-million pound renovations which will take over a year.

Tour operator Martin McCrossan described the Guildhall as one of Derry’s main attractions.

“We have three very important attractions in the city,” he said.

“One of the main ones is the City Walls — which are one of the most complete set of walls in the whole of Europe.

“St Columb's Cathedral is the finest building in the city, dating back to 1628, but then the Guildhall, just outside the city walls, is the next most historic building.”

When the council returns to the building in 2013 the chamber will have moved from the ground floor to upstairs.

The mayor of Derry, Maurice Devenney, said that the public were aware of the closure and understood it had to be done.

“I think nearly everyone knows now it will be early spring before it’s open,” he said. “We have made people aware of that this last year or so. There is no negativity coming back about that at all.”

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