The new Luan Gallery will open on Thursday.

Athlone's new €3.4m art gallery to open tomorrow

The cultural and arts scene in the Midlands will be given a massive boost tomorrow (Thursday) when the launch of the €3.4m Luan Gallery takes place in Athlone. Approximately 250 people are expected to attend the official opening of the facility by Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan at 2.30pm. Situated on Grace Road, adjacent to the town bridge, it is the first purpose-built, modern visual art gallery to be located in the Midlands. Its opening exhibition is entitled 'Borrowed Memories' and comprises work from the collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Meanwhile, an architect who worked on the distinctive design of the Luan Gallery has described it as a fusion of "Old Athlone and New Athlone." Richard Brown - of the 'Keith Williams Architects' firm - acknowledged that there had been "a lot of debate" about the dramatic changes to the historic Fr Mathew Hall building, but he believed the end product "has turned out as well as anyone could have reasonably hoped for." For further details on the Gallery and its opening times etc, see pages 1 and 5 of this week's Westmeath Independent.