“Impossible” to know cost of Book of Kells closure, says College

The uncertainty around the duration of the coronavirus outbreak and already reduced tourist numbers make it impossible to estimate losses, say Trinity

It is “impossible to say what the cost of closure” of the Book of Kells exhibition in Trinity’s Old Library due to coronavirus will be, a College spokesperson has said.

This morning The Journal.ie reported that the cost to College could be “up to €3 million”, a number apparently reached by dividing the annual income generated by the exhibition last year of €12 million by four, with the assumption that the coronavirus outbreak may last up to three months.

However, speaking to Trinity News, a College spokesperson said that “it is impossible to say what the cost of closure of the Book of Kells exhibition will be, as we do not know how long the situation (COVID19) will go on for”.

They added: “General tourist numbers are already down as a result of the coronavirus, so it is also difficult to estimate what the cost of the decision will be at this time, versus a time when tourist numbers would be normal.”

Trinity took the decision yesterday, in tandem with the decision to move lectures online, to close all tourist attractions in Trinity, including the Old Library and Book of Kells exhibition, the Science Gallery and the Douglas Hyde Gallery. Notices of these closures have been posted online and at the main entrances to the college.

The first case of coronavirus within Trinity was confirmed last Thursday. The fourth floor and lifts of the Trinity Biomedical Science Institute (TBSI) were closed as a precaution. Hand sanitisers have been provided across campus and in off-campus locations in a bid to prevent a possible spread of infection. College has placed posters across campus with information on the virus, and has established a dedicated web page to provide updates and advice.

Trinity set up an expert working group to monitor the ongoing situation with the coronavirus in January.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.