Wednesday, 25 February 2004

Ceisteanna (34, 35)

Joe Sherlock

Ceist:

117 Mr. Sherlock asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism when he expects to receive the report from the board of the Hunt Museum in Limerick following his request for the board to investigate claims by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre that the museum’s collection contained items obtained through business dealings with art dealers linked to the art agents for Adolf Hitler and Herman Goering; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6131/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

128 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if he has been given a copy of the letter sent to the President, Mrs. McAleese, by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, expressing concern at some of the collection contained at the Hunt Museum in Limerick, particularly its connection to Nazi art dealers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6132/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 117 and 128 together.

I wish to confirm my receipt of the letter sent to the President by the Wiesenthal Centre regarding the Hunt collection and the Hunt Museum. While I have no statutory responsibility for the Hunt Museum, I have, on foot of receipt of this letter, asked the museum to take action to satisfy itself in regard to the allegations made in the letter in so far as they relate to the collections and have requested the chairman of the board to keep me informed of the outcome of the board's actions.

I understand that the Hunt Museum has established an independent review group to be chaired by Mr. Justice Donal Barrington to examine the allegations and to report to the museum as quickly as possible. The completed report will thereafter be forwarded for my consideration of what, if any, further action may be required.