Bye-bye Burrell as art prepares to ship off

SOME of Glasgow’s finest artworks is going on tour after a bill was passed on Tuesday allowing it to by-pass a stipulation in the will of Sir William Burrell.

The shipping magnate had acquired a large amount of art during his lifetime and left it all to the people of Glasgow on his death.

But one of his rules was that the collection could not travel abroad as the threat of damage was so great 60 years ago.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Glasgow city council presented a Private Bill to the Scottish parliament to secure a legal solution to lift restrictions to overseas lending.

It will be the first time the collection has travelled extesively since the dedicated museum, the Burrell Collection, was opened in Pollok Park more than 30 years ago: but there is a strong necessity for vital, building upgrade work to be carried out.

Local Green MSP Patrick Harvie applauded the idea of sharing the art with other areas.

He told The Extra: “It seems quite a sensible move to me. I doubt that the original intentions were conceived with the assumption that the building wouldn’t be completed until the 1980s, and no longer-term provision was made for housing the collection while refurbishment takes place.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“So, in any scenario, we’d have to depart from the letter of the will to some extent.”

Chair of Glasgow Life, councillor Archie Graham, said: “This marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Burrell Collection. We now have the opportunity to share some of Sir William’s outstanding vision with an international audience.”

The Burrell Collection has almost 9,000 pieces of art: including medieval, Chinese, French, Dutch and Islamic art.

Work on the building is due to commence in 2016.