Further €500,000 pledged to Russborough House

Funding follows on from €7m raised in sale of old master paintings from Beit Collection

The Alfred Beit Foundation estimates that up to €15 million will be needed to ensure the long-term survival of Russborough House in  Blessington, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Eric Luke

The Alfred Beit Foundation estimates that up to €15 million will be needed to ensure the long-term survival of Russborough House in Blessington, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

A further €500,000 has been secured for Russborough House following on from a €7 million fundraising drive by its minders, the Department of Arts and Heritage has confirmed.

The Alfred Beit Foundation, which operates the Co Wicklow attraction, raised the €7 million through the sale of old master paintings from the Beit Collection after concerns were raised over the future of the house.

Now the department has pledged a further €250,000 towards extensive repairs needed for the estate, a figure that will be matched by UK-based arts charity the Apollo Trust, according to a statement from Minister for Arts and Heritage Heather Humphreys.

“This is the first time in a number of years, thanks to the improving economy, that my department has been in a position to provide capital support towards the house,” she said.

“Russborough is itself emerging from a difficult financial situation, and I would like to pay tribute to the efforts made by the Alfred Beit Foundation to put the operations of the house on a more sustainable basis,” she added.

The Alfred Beit Foundation estimates that up to €15 million will be needed to ensure the long-term survival of Russborough House, a property which dates back to the mid-18th century, but said money raised recently will be sufficient to keep it open for the foreseeable future.

Plans to sell works by famous artists such as Rubens were met with criticism by some observers last year, with thousands signing a petition which sought to prevent the sales.