Charlie and the Gallery

 

CHARLES J. Haughey is the chairman of the new National Gallery Foundation, a body which aims to raise £6 million for the gallery's planned 50,000 square feet extension on Clare Street. At a launch announcing the foundation's plans yesterday, Mr Haughey pointed out that the extension will cost an estimated £13.5 million, £7.5 million of which will be paid for by EU Structural Funds. This allocation will only be made good if it is matched by funds raised in Ireland.

"We haven't got much time," said Mr Haughey, noting that the Structural Funds will not be available after 1999, so that the extension must be constructed before that time. The foundation plans to target individuals and corporate bodies, asking them to donate sums in return for having a room or facility in the extension named after them. Joking that if he were to have such a room named after him, it would have to be the biggest in the gallery. Mr Haughey concluded: "It is an honour to be associated with the National Gallery in this direct way, and to contribute towards making what is already a great gallery into a superb international gallery for the new millennium." The extension will include a Yeats Museum, a Public Library and Conservation Studios.