St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art under threat of closure - Museums Association

St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art under threat of closure

Campaign to save the Glasgow venue has begun
Closure Cuts
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Eleanor Mills
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St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art in Glasgow is at risk of permanent closure.

The museum has been closed for the past year.

Set up in 1993 and run by the culture and leisure body Glasgow Life, the museum has been subject to funding cuts and an unprecedented loss of income due to the pandemic.

The charity Interfaith Glasgow has launched a campaign and petition to save the museum. Both organisations have a mission to promote understanding and respect between people of different faiths and those of none.

A spokesperson for Glasgow Life said: “We recognise the very significant role St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art has played in the religious life of the city and the continued importance of the role Glasgow Museums can play, alongside partner organisations. We also recognise the importance of interfaith dialogue and are committed to continuing to support this.

“For some time now, indeed significantly prior to the pandemic, Glasgow Life has been talking to Glasgow City Council and partners on the Cathedral Precinct about how to work better together to improve the visitor experience to the medieval heart of the city.

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“The purpose of the conversation has been to think about how to work together to make best use of the buildings and outside spaces. These conversations have been useful but are inevitably taking time to find the best way to work together on an ongoing basis. As such, no concrete proposals have been presented for consideration or approval.

“St Mungo Museum has been closed for the past year and the significant and ongoing impact of the pandemic means this will continue to be the case. We’re working hard to maximise the funding available to us and we have been clear for some time now that the £100m budget we have been given by Glasgow City Council this year will be allocated in full to reopening more than 90 venues across the city.

“Given the current climate, it is unrealistic to expect that we can raise significant additional funding this year that will support the reopening of venues beyond those we have already announced. We are using this time to progress the discussions outlined above with partners and will update on progress at the first opportunity.”

The museum is named after Glasgow's patron saint who brought the Christian faith to Scotland in the 6th century. It is built on the site of the medieval Bishops’ Castle and is designed in its style.

The displays, objects and art on show explore the importance of religion in peoples’ lives across the world and across time.

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