May 20, 2020

No Decision on Re-Opening of Book of Kells Exhibition, Says Trinity

The exhibition, which brings in around €12 million a year, has been closed since early March.

Emer MoreauNews Editor
Alex Connolly for The University Times

College has not yet made a decision on when the Book of Kells exhibition, which has been closed since March, will re-open for visitors.

Provost Patrick Prendergast ordered the closure of the exhibition on March 10th, along with the Science Gallery and Douglas Hyde museum.

In an email statement to The University Times, Trinity media relations officer Catherine O’Mahony said that “the decision regarding the reopening of the Book of Kells exhibition has not yet been taken”.


In March, reported that Trinity could stand to lose out on up to €3 million in revenue over the coming months due to the closure of the Book of Kells exhibition. It is reported to bring in around €12 million per year.

Trinity’s campus re-opened for current residents on Monday, after shutting down on March 12th along with schools and colleges around the country. Provost Patrick Prendergast told staff and students in a College-wide email that staff should not return to College yet despite a government directive that says they can come in to prepare online learning.

Prendergast acknowledged the government’s five-step plan for a phased re-opening of the country, which says schools and colleges would be opened on May 18th “for access by teachers for organisation and distribution of remote learning”.

But Prendergast said: “At this stage, teaching staff in Trinity should continue to work from home for this purpose and should not come into college.”

Residents will be allowed to return to the campus, and outside contractors working on building sites in the College will resume work “where social distancing is possible and in line with the government’s plan”.

At this time it is unclear just what the return to work for Trinity staff will entail. Prendergast has already confirmed that online classes are likely to continue into next year, along with a return to real-life contact “in a responsible way”.

While large lectures will be delivered online, smaller lectures, seminars and tutorials will return to campus, Prendergast said, in a video released on Twitter earlier this month. Groups will, however, be moved into larger lecture theatres to allow for social distancing.

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