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Hard Hats and Hammers

November 10, 2009

Down to Queen Street this morning with Robert Galbraith for a press call on two great pieces of news.  First, that the Monument Trust has given us a donation of £2million. This is a fantastic boost to Portrait of the Nation and it means that we now have secured just over 80% of the total funding. We now have just under £3.2 million left to raise; a large sum but certainly achievable.

James Holloway at The Monument Trust announcement

The second piece of good news is that we now have contactors on site.  Robert and I met Jeff Thornton this morning who is the construction company’s Project Manager. He is someone that Robert and I will get to know well in the 72 weeks he will be on site.  The photograph shows me, wielding a 7lb hammer to destroy one of the partition walls on the ground floor. Lovers of the building should be reassured that we plan to destroy only the later and unsightly additions to the Portrait Gallery. In fact a large part of the £17.6million project cost is to restore the great Arts and Crafts building to the form it was when it opened to the public 120 years ago.

The Monument Trust announcement

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