Museums and galleries could reopen in the “coming weeks”, according to the minister

Museums and galleries could reopen in the “coming weeks”, said Arts Minister Catherine Martin.

Ms Martin said reopening the arts will be one of the issues considered when the government meets next week to discuss easing Covid-19 restrictions.

She also suggested that a wider reopening of the arts will occur “if positive trends continue”.

This could allow for small outdoor performances later in the summer.

The government is already planning to open hairdressing, retail, non-contact sport for adults and religious services as the situation with Covid-19 continues to improve.

Decisions will be made closer to June to allow hotels and guesthouses to reopen.

Ms Martin was speaking during the online announcement that 422 works of art by 70 artists will be added to the national collection thanks to the government’s €1million fund provided to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA ) and at the Crawford Art Gallery in October. 2020.

Spanning from 1972 to 2021, the works consist of paintings, photographic works, drawings, sculptures, installations, moving images, sound works, films, digital works, embroideries and performances.

The Minister said: “We are all aware of the difficulty of this period for all members of the artistic community. I am delighted to provide funding so that they [galleries] can support living artists by purchasing their works. I am convinced that our national cultural institutions will do justice to these artists in the way they represent their work.

“This year has also been a difficult year for all our institutions, but it has also provided an opportunity to reflect on museums and what they mean to people and how we share these precious works of art which are part of our national collections.

Mary McCarthy, director of the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, said it was “an amazing moment. . . a huge injection of conviction, energy and support” upon hearing the gallery was to receive €400,000 to spend on contemporary art as part of the €1 million fund.

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