Council expects Shelbourne Hotel statues to be reinstated by end of month

‘The statues are still being restored and are in a foundry’ says company spokesperson

Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill


Dublin City Council has informed the owners of the Shelbourne Hotel that it expects the four statutes removed from outside the premises last July to be reinstated by the end of this month.

Almost three months ago US multinational property company Kennedy Wilson, operated by the Marriott Group, said the statues would re-appear within a few weeks.

Hotel management had them removed, from where they stood on plinths outside the front of the hotel since 1867, in the mistaken belief that two of them represented slave women.

In a statement the council said the owners’ conservation architect wrote to them, “indicating that the conservation works on the statues is in the course of being completed and that it is hoped that the statues will be re-erected before the end of the year.”

The council said it will “continue to monitor the situation” to ensure they will be reinstated in a timely manner.

A spokesperson for Kennedy Wilson said they would not be making any comment on the date the statues will be reinstated.

He said: “The statues are still being restored and are in a foundry. The foremost expert on statues art historian Dr Paula Murphy of UCD carried out a report on them”. Layers of paint continue to be removed.

An expert on sculpture, she has concluded that they are not depictions of slaves.

It is understood the hotel owners have been liaising with the council on ongoing works on the statues.

Donough Cahill, executive director of the Irish Georgian Society said they were “keen to see the statues reinstated and that is good that seems to be the ongoing plan”.