Kilkenny Castle - one of the country’s top tourist destinations – has received a special accolade under the prestigious Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI), coordinated by The Heritage Council.
It comes as the sector prepares a fightback against the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. The certificates were presented at a special online ceremony today.
Established by the Council to benchmark and promote professional standards, selection under the MSPI is seen as a major accolade in the sector.
Factors taken into account include how museums care for their collections and visitors, as well as governance and management standards, and their education and exhibition programmes.
In a typical year, thousands of visitors come to see the castle, and walk through its 50 acres of rolling parkland, with mature trees and an abundance of wildlife.
Awarding the museum full accreditation today, the assessors said: “The current assessment has confirmed that the team at Kilkenny Castle, drawing on advice and support from within OPW, are able to meet and exceed the standards required for full accreditation status.”
The MSPI programme is now in its 16th year, setting the benchmark for ‘excellence’ in the museum sector.
Since its inception, a total of 47 museums have received full accreditation. In total, 128 certificates have been awarded.
Chairman of the Heritage Council, Michael Parsons said: “This programme is the gold standard for Irish museums. Taking approximately five years to achieve full accreditation (interim accreditation usually after three years), it is a huge commitment on behalf of the participants.”
Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan said: “I’d like to compliment those involved in all the hard work they have done by way of raising standards to a new level.
“The range of activities carried out by the various recipients is testament to the vibrancy in this sector and augurs well for the future.”
Gina O’Kelly, Director of Operations of the Irish Museums Association, said: “Receiving this ‘stamp of excellence’ today is a huge accolade for each museum and represents many years of engagement with the process of accreditation – a commitment that has proven to be extremely rewarding for both the museums and their audiences.”
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