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RTÉ unveils National Gallery doc, part of its upcoming collection

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As part of a collection of arts and factual programmes to air over the coming weeks, RTÉ One has unveiled a major new documentary giving viewers exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the refurbishment of the National Gallery of Ireland which officially reopens today.

Over three years in the making, Portrait of a Gallery observes the day-to-day running of Ireland’s most visited cultural attraction, while witnessing the transformation of the dilapidated historic Dargan and Milltown wings. Filmed from January 2014 until June 2017, the drama and the highs and lows of the building project are captured as the tricky logistics, surprises, bad weather and pressures are dealt with to deliver the building back to the NGI on schedule.

Portrait of a Gallery was produced and directed by Adrian McCarthy / Wildfire Films and made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. It will air on RTÉ One on Tuesday 27 June at 9.35pm.

Over the life of this transformation, we get to know NGI director Sean Rainbird and members of his team as they deal with over 700,000 yearly visitors while planning on-going exhibitions and preparing the collection for the largest re-hang in the Gallery’s history. Portrait of a Gallery features a colourful cast of curators including Adriaan Waiboer (Head of Collections and Research), Brendan Rooney (Irish Art) and Adrian Le Harivel (British Art) as they meticulously prepare for months in advance of the re-hang. We get to know builders, cleaners, gallery attendants, conservationists and speak to some visitors to this national institution. All giving an insight into how a national gallery, which belongs to the Irish people, functions while witnessing the challenges, pressures and expectations as we head towards the re-opening.

of a Gallery is one of a number of arts and factual documentaries due to air on RTÉ One in the coming weeks. Others include This is Christy, a revealing film about Aslan frontman Christy Dignam; Giles, a profile of sports legend Johnny Giles, Nathan Carter in Nashville, in which the singer meets stars of country; and U2 agus An Arc, an Irish language music documentary which looks at the band’s early days and their gigs at the Arcadia Ballroom in Cork.

Vermeer, Beyond Time chronicles the life of one of the most treasured artists in the world. And RTÉ One will screen Meetings with Ivor, Alan Gilsenan’s film about psychiatrist Ivor Browne.

Too Old for the Road? next Monday 19 June at 9.35pm follows the challenges for older Irish motorists and A Different Country on Wednesday 21 June at 9.35pm chronicles the stories of members of the LGBT community about a time, pre-decriminalisation, when they were almost hidden.