An art collection amassed by a shipping magnate is to go back on show to the public in March next year after a £68.25m museum renovation.
The Burrell Collection in Glasgow’s Pollok Country Park was sent on a world tour in October 2016 while the museum hosting the art was refurbished.
The city’s culture body Glasgow Life has now said the renovation of the A-listed building is nearing completion and installation of the works of art has begun.
The Burrell Collection was amassed by Sir William Burrell and he and his wife donated the collection to Glasgow in 1944.
Councillor David McDonald, chairman of Glasgow Life, and depute leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “It’s wonderful to see that the installation of Sir William’s precious, beautiful and intriguing collection has begun, now the delicate refurbishment of its home is almost at an end.
“This major refurbishment and redisplay will celebrate Sir William’s outstanding gift to the city and ensures it is at the heart of Glasgow’s cultural identity for the future, and having much more of the collection on display and accessible will be one of its immediate successes.
“Sir William’s incredible legacy will help Glasgow and Scotland’s recovery from Covid-19, bringing increased pride and confidence, which has a tangible effect on our wellbeing. As we move out of a pandemic that is vital.”
Chief executive of Glasgow Life Bridget McConnell said: “March 2022 will mark a historic milestone in Glasgow’s story, as the completely refurbished Burrell Collection reopens to the world.
“Very soon, thanks to all the project’s funders, these wonderful works of art, which Sir William Burrell gave to the people of Glasgow, will be enjoyed in a modern, green museum, fit for purpose and for the future.
“Our vision for the Burrell Collection demonstrates the city’s ambition for it to become more widely appreciated and well known around the world and for Glasgow to retain its place as a global cultural leader.”
Work on the museum began in 2018 with repairs to the roof and the installation of modern glazing.
A new entrance has been installed along with a central stairway and a renovated outdoor green space.
On reopening, the museum’s gallery space will have increased by 35%, allowing objects from the collection which have not been seen for decades, or have never been on permanent display, to go on show.
Highlights of the Burrell Collection include Chinese pottery and porcelain produced over a 5000-year period; paintings by renowned French artists including Manet, Cezanne and Degas; medieval treasures including stained glass, arms and armour; and more than 200 tapestries and carpets.
Sir Angus Grossart, chairman of Burrell Renaissance, said: “The Burrell Collection has a reputation as being one of the finest in the world. The wonderful new displays have enhanced and informed what visitors will see.
“They will find great cultural diversity, much beauty and wonder and the great achievement of one enquiring and questioning mind, that of Sir William Burrell.”