King Charles has officially reopened the Burrell Collection in Glasgow almost 40 years after it was first opened by his mother.
Displayed in a purpose-built, A-Listed museum in the city’s Pollok Country Park, the collection was originally made public by Queen Elizabeth II on October 21, 1983.
The opening is remembered as the first event to mark Glasgow’s reinvention as a City of Culture.
The late monarch was given a private tour of the venue – much like her son has been given on Thursday.
She then gave a speech to crowds that had gathered.
She said: “Glaswegians can be proud not only of Sir William Burrell and his astute and unflagging pursuit of excellence, but also of the way in which they have responded to his generosity.”
A schoolgirl was chosen to present the Queen with flowers and ended up making headlines when she burst into tears.
A handmade catalogue of the museum’s exhibits was presented to her as a gift.
Sir William Burrell (1861-1958), owner of a successful shipping company in Glasgow, devoted more than 75 years of his life to amassing 9,000 works of art spanning 6,000 years of history which is regarded as one of the world’s greatest single-person collections.
He and his wife Constance, Lady Burrell, gifted the majority to the City of Glasgow in 1944. At the time it was described as “one of the greatest gifts ever made to any city in the world” by Sir Hector Hetherington, principal of the University of Glasgow.
The Burrell Collection closed to the public in 2016 for the £68.25m refurbishment.
Having reopened to the public in March 2022, the project has delivered new and improved displays and facilities hailed as an exemplar of sustainable low carbon design.
Many of the Collection’s important and unique objects, which have not been seen for decades, or have never been on permanent display, are now on show thanks to a 35% increase in the museum’s gallery space.
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