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National Gallery prepares to reopen art collection to public as culture returns

A host of social distancing and hygiene measures will be in place.

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The National Gallery has been closed during lockdown (Brian Lawless/PA)

The National Gallery has been closed during lockdown (Brian Lawless/PA)

The National Gallery has been closed during lockdown (Brian Lawless/PA)

Visitors to the National Gallery in Dublin will once again be able to see their favourite Monet or Picasso as the collection of art reopens to the public on Monday.

Museums across the country will open their doors as cultural life begins to return to Ireland.

The public has been flooding the website to avail of its virtual tours over the last few months and Sile Boylan, the visitor experience manager at the National Gallery, hopes it will inspire new and old visitors to come and take a look in person.

“We are really looking forward to having visitors back in the building,” Ms Boylan said.

“We’ve been doing a lot of cleaning over the last couple of weeks and really focused on putting in all of the precautions and safety measures so that when we do reopen the doors to visitors, that it is a very safe place to visit.

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Claude Monet’s “Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat’ will be on display (Brian Lawless/PA)

Claude Monet’s “Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat’ will be on display (Brian Lawless/PA)

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Claude Monet’s “Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat’ will be on display (Brian Lawless/PA)

“We are really looking forward to inviting visitors back in and seeing their favourite paintings. There are so many people out there who would love to see a Monet or the Picasso.”

Since the gallery closed its doors in mid-March, the public were able to access the collections online through various virtual tours.

“We had a phenomenal response to the virtual tours,” Ms Boylan added.

“There was also an opportunity to introduce the collection to people, including mindfulness tours and educational resources that went online to allow families and children with accessibility needs to see it.”

In preparation for reopening, the gallery formed a Covid-19 response team to erect signage and guidelines for the public.

“Our priority has always been to create a very safe but equally welcoming experience, to come in and see the paintings they want and enjoy the experience,” Ms Boylan continued.

“We are opening up galleries one to five, that is our European collection.

“We will be reopening it in a phased manner. While it hasn’t been a difficult process, it has been a bit complex, but there is a great team working towards reopening it.

“We are working very much towards inviting our Irish population back into the gallery – the staycation visitor.

“Our world has changed and I hope that when people come they get to see the space and get the sense of peacefulness and help us readjust to the new.”

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