EMPTY PLINTHS OUTSIDE THE SHELBOURNE HOTEL THE STATUES ARE TO BE RETURNED
The missing statues will be restored, date yet to be specified, to their plinths once they are cleaned. Their restoration will include a plaque explaining their backgrounds.
The statues were originally designed and sculpted by Mathurin Moreau (1822-1912), son of another famous French sculptor, Jean-Baptiste-Louis-Joseph Moreau and were cast in the Val d’Orsne foundry in Paris.
The Shelbourne hotel at Stephen’ Green was widely criticised by Dubliners for its decision to remove four statues from outside the hotel. The action undertaken by the hotel owners prompted several complaints to Dublin City Council that the facade of the hotel was a protected structure and the removal of the statues was a breach of planning permission.
The hotel removed the statues of what were believed to be two Nubian princesses from the lower Nile and their slave girls holding torches.
The bronze statues stood on plinths outside hotel since 1867 but as a response to recent Black Lives Matter protests across the world the owners of the hotel made a decision to remove the statues.
According the a number of art experts the original catalogues clearly labeled the statues as African and Egyptian aristocratic women.
Dublin City Council sent an enforcement letter on July 29th giving hotel management four weeks to respond to the claims of an alleged planning breach. Hotel management were granted another four-week extension to respond to the allegation.