Dublin's famous Icon Factory is at risk of being converted into a restaurant and retail unit after plans were submitted to Dublin City Council proposing a redevelopment of the building.
Based in Temple Bar, one of Dublin's cultural hubs, The Icon Factory has been in its current spot for the last 10 years. Locals and Dublin-based artists in particular are furious at the proposal, which would see the building being attached to two further retail premises, in a total overhaul of the area.
The Icon Factory, which also includes the Icon Walk, is an artist's cooperative run purely by volunteers and artists, originally designed to help revitalise the area. Since opening in 2009, it has become a central hub for Dublin-based artists to create and display work, and Aston Place's Icon Walk has, since then, become Ireland's largest outdoor art installation.
Artists and Dubliners alike have come together to object against the plans, writing a letter to the council explaining the significance of The Icon Factory, and also stressing the number of restaurants that the Temple Bar area already has.
One local described the Icon Factory as one of "the last examples of the original grassroot artistic spirit that gave the area its unique character", while another simply stated that "Irish artists do not have other locations where they can display and sell their work."
The letter also says: ""The Icon Walk has become a tourist destination and received an endorsement by the UNESCO City of Literature office as an important site for the celebration of Irish literary talent and culture."
There is yet to be a decision made by the council as to whether plans can procede.
Visiting the Icon Walk to take a look at the amazing artwork on display? Why not pop in to one of these Temple Bar restaurants afterwards to enjoy some top quality food.