Last vestiges of the Big House?
Sir, – The dispersal of one of Ireland’s most intact collections of fine and decorative arts is imminent at Mount Congreve (Michael Parsons, Fine Art Antiques, July 7th). It will become the duty of the State to manage Mount Congreve as a heritage tourism attraction and offer visitors an “authentic” experience of an Irish country house.
I would appeal to bidders at the auction to buy lots and then offer them as long-term loans or gifts to the OPW for reinstatement in the house. Textiles, kitchenalia, books and paper archives in particular add colour. The surplus rolls of 18th-century Chinese wallpaper should be saved for the house in case they are required for future repairs.
Container after container-load of Irish decorative and fine arts left this country in the 20th century. Let us stop the merry-go-round of chasing after our lost heritage before it starts again. – Yours, etc,