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Historic Ulster Hall paintings to be restored

Download photoquality version of The Ulster Hall`s Jacqui Owens with Conservator, Kiffy Stainer-Hutchins and Belfast City Council Heritage Officer, Robert Heslip.  
Download photoquality version of The Ulster Hall`s Jacqui Owens and Belfast City Council Heritage Officer, Robert Heslip, with one of the Carey paintings :

26 June 2008

A series of famous oil paintings of huge historic importance to Belfast have been prepared for restoration as part of the ongoing restoration and refurbishment of the Ulster Hall, one of the city`s oldest and most celebrated buildings.

Originally commissioned for the Ulster Hall in 1902, Joseph Carey`s paintings of Belfast are being painstakingly restored and will once again adorn the landmark venue`s walls when it reopens its doors to the public in March 2009.

Joseph Carey remains one of Northern Ireland`s best known artists and his 13 Belfast-themed Ulster Hall oil paintings are being restored by conservators, Kiffy Stainer-Hutchins & Co, Kings Lynn.

Robert Heslip, Heritage Officer with Belfast City Council, commented: “These oil paintings represent an invaluable piece of Belfast’s heritage. Their restoration will enable local people to enjoy these wonderful historic Belfast portraits in their original magnificence - in the very place where Joseph Carey intended them to be enjoyed all those years ago!”

Robert added, “Great care is being taken to retain the unique character of the Ulster Hall and to restore the original architecture and décor. The restoration of the Carey paintings is a prime example of that process.”

The restoration and refurbishment of the Ulster Hall will include a complete re-fit and redecoration of the main hall, while the newly restored and refurbished building will become the new home of the Ulster Orchestra. There will be a complete refurbishment of the artist dressing rooms and education suites will be provided for schools and community groups.

Stars have shone and legends have been born at the Ulster Hall for more than 150 years. Led Zeppelin gave their very first live performance of Stairway to Heaven there while the venue can boast appearances by a vast array of world famous names as diverse as Charles Dickens and Motorhead.



The restoration and refurbishment is ongoing and the Ulster Hall`s reopening is scheduled for March 2009.

The Heritage Lottery Fund is contributing 90% of the funding for the Carey Paintings restoration with 10% of the cost being funded by Belfast City Council.

The total cost of the Ulster Hall restoration and refurbishment capital project will be £7.43million. 40% of the total cost is being funded by Belfast City Council through its Capital Funding Programme. This is being supported by 60% partnership funding from the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council for Northern Ireland and Environment and Heritage Service.

Press release issued by: Nicholas Sadlier, PR & Advertising Executive, Belfast Waterfront, Belfast BT1 3WH. Tel: 028 9033 4418. Email: