One of the most important historic paintings in the National Gallery's collection, The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife has been removed from public view to allow the work to be restored.

For almost a year conservation work has been carried out on the painting by Cork born artist Daniel Maclise.

Simone Mancini Head of Conservation at the National Gallery talks about the benefits of the project,

The cleaning allows us to rediscover a lot of small details which were somehow lost. More importantly we are carrying over a research programme which is not only about conserving but investigating the composition and the quality of the materials used by Maclise. 

Raymond Keaveney Director of the National Gallery explains the challenges involved in moving a painting of this size from the Dargan Wing for conservation.

Members of the public can follow the conservation process on the gallery website which will be frequently updated as the project continues throughout the next 12 months.

The work has been made possible by a grant from the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Project.

An RTÉ News report by Sinead Crowley broadcast on 20th September 2011.