Hunt for new Molly home during Luas work
LUAS operators are searching for suitable storage options for Dublin's iconic statues and sculptures.
Molly Malone will be wheeling her famed wheelbarrow away from her current spot off Dublin's Grafton Street to make way for the new Luas line.
But special provisions have been planned for the iconic statue, as part of a process that will see many of the capital's best-loved art pieces hidden away for up to three years.
The Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) has begun the search for a specialist contractor to store some of the city's heritage pieces, while work on the tramline is ongoing.
Beloved statues and other significant pieces will begin to disappear from Dublin's streets from February, a spokesperson for the Luas cross city project confirmed.
Among those that have been identified for removal are the Lady Grattan Fountain, on St Stephen's Green and the Steine, a sculpture on Hawkins Street.
The Thomas Moore statue on College Street and the Father Mathew statue on O'Connell Street have also been earmarked for removal and storage.
But Molly Malone will get special treatment – she will be moved rather than removed.
"Obviously Molly Malone is one of the iconic pieces of Dublin and perhaps its most famous tourist attraction.
"We would like to keep her on display," the spokesperson said. "It is going to be moved, we won't be keeping her in storage," she added.
Work is currently under way to identity the best place for the cockles and muscles trader, which will be near her original position.
The remainder of the landmarks which need to be moved will be placed in storage.
The decision has been made to ensure that none of the pieces are damaged while the new Luas line, which links the red and green routes, is laid.