Dáil Éireann - Volume 560 - 30 January, 2003

Written Answers. - National Museum.

  55. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the extent to which artefacts of local, national, cultural, historical and educational interest can be put on display, directly or through the national museum, in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2235/03]

  56. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the extent to which various artefacts of historical, cultural and educational interest are not on display due to lack of space; the manner and method of storage at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2236/03]

  Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (Mr. O'Donoghue): I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 56 together.

  The National Museum of Ireland has an ongoing practice of facilitating the loan of material to venues that meet the necessary requirements of security, safety and public access. Should any facility in Kildare seek to display artefacts held by the national museum, such a request would be considered by the museum having regard to the requirements to be met.

  The national museum is responsible for the care and protection of Ireland's portable heritage which comprises a vast number and variety of objects. It is never possible or desirable to place on display all objects held in the national collecting institutions. The national museum has a number of sites that are used for its storage requirements and has an ongoing programme of rationalising and improving its storage facilities towards ensuring the best care and security of its collections. The storage methods are based on the environmental, security and other requirements of the particular elements of the collections in the museum.

  57. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism the extent he proposes to expand and extend the museum service throughout the country the particular reference to the need to put on display various artefacts currently [723]in storage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2237/03]

  Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism (Mr. O'Donoghue): I assume that the Deputy's question relates to the National Museum of Ireland, NMI. As a collecting agency, the museum will always possess significantly more artefacts than are displayed. The museum displays the national collections at facilities at Collins Barracks, Kildare Street, and Merrion Square in Dublin, and Turlough Park House, in County Mayo. The National Museum has an ongoing practice of facilitating loans to venues that meet the necessarily stringent requirements of security, safety and public access. To date a number of such loans have been made to designated county museums. I have no statutory responsibility for county museums.