Dublin museum's £9m facelift

By Carl Nelkin, February 3, 2011
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Irish President Mary McAleese tours the museum in the company of Asher Siev and Yvonne O’Connor

Irish President Mary McAleese tours the museum in the company of Asher Siev and Yvonne O’Connor

The Irish Jewish Museum has launched an appeal for a £9 million expansion of its Walworth Road premises in Dublin.

An announcement about the revamp was made as the museum celebrated its 25th anniversary at the weekend with a concert for 400 guests by the Zimratya cantors choir from Jerusalem.

The project has the support of the Irish Office of Public Works, which has provided architect assistance for the plans being submitted to Dublin City Council.

Housed in a former synagogue, the museum's driving force was the late Raphael Siev. When he died almost two years ago, Mr Siev bequeathed three adjoining buildings to the museum.

Ireland's Office of Public Works is a backer

Assuming the funds are raised, the extension is expected to be completed within three years and will be named in Mr Siev's memory. Features will include enlarged display areas, a kosher café, archive storage and research areas.

Museum treasurer Edwin Alkin said the community is "excited at the prospect of bringing the vision of Raphael Siev to fruition".

Leonard Abrahamson, chairman of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland, has welcomed "the ambitious expansion plans by the museum, which will enable it to continue to collect, preserve and display details of the history, culture and traditions of the Jewish community in Ireland".

Irish President Mary McAleese last week visited the museum - which attracts around 10,000 visitors annually - where she acknowledged the "important contribution of the Irish Jewish community to Irish society over many years".

Last updated: 2:39pm, February 3 2011