Painting a unique Portrait of Derry

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive Office for the City of Culture 2013, takes a picture of the Mayor of Derry Councillor Kevin Campbell, at the launch of the  attending the  'Portrait of a City', event at the Glassworks, Gt. James Street.
Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive Office for the City of Culture 2013, takes a picture of the Mayor of Derry Councillor Kevin Campbell, at the launch of the attending the 'Portrait of a City', event at the Glassworks, Gt. James Street.
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“The Legacy event of them all,” is how Derry’s Mayor described the colossal BT Portrait of a City project when it was launched at The Glassworks this week.

The historic Great James’ Street venue was packed to the rafters on Wednesday for the unveiling of this hugely ambitious city-wide project.

BT Portrait of a City, based in Creggan’s Rath Mor Centre, aims to compile one of the largest digital community archives the world has ever seen. Over time, this vast online archive will leave a rich legacy for future generations to explore, painting an in-depth study of the city’s rich past.

Speaking at the launch were Culture Company’s Chief Executive Shona McCarthy, its Senior Programmer Martin Melarkey, Mayor Kevin Campbell, Peter Morris from BT and Kevin Hippsley from Guildhall Press, who will take charge of the archive when complete.

Shona McCarthy described Portrait of a City as “something quite magical”.

Derry’s Mayor, Colr Kevin Campbell, thanked everyone involved in making the project a reality. “This is unique for our City of Culture year and unique for this city,” he said. “For me, this is going to be the legacy event of them all and will be very, very important.”

Culture Senior Programmer Martin Melarkey described the new archive as a “digital memory-bank for the city”.

“If you look at the scale of this project, this is something that we are asking every single citizen of this city to get involved in... the photograph brings the past alive in a way we never thought possible.”

To contribute photographs go to www.btportraitofacity.com.