The Burrell Collection in Glasgow will reopen next March following its £68m refurbishment and redisplay.
Building work on the A listed building in Pollok Country Park, which has been closed since autumn 2016, has now finished and installation of artworks begun. The overhaul will see gallery space increase by 35%, allowing more items from the collection to go on display.
This includes the Wagner Garden carpet, one of the three earliest surviving Persian garden carpets in the world, which will be put on permanent display for the first time.
Glasgow Life, which runs the museum, is also introducing new approaches to interpretation such as digital displays, as well as improved facilities and sustainability measures.
The museum’s environmental performance has been enhanced by improving the building’s exterior and by replacing power, heating and lighting systems with more efficient sustainable technologies.
The project has been delayed by about two years and is approximately £2m over budget. Nearly half of the funding for the redevelopment was committed by Glasgow City Council, with a further £15m coming from the National Lottery Heritage Fund as well as significant grants from the Scottish and UK governments.
“When the Burrell Collection first opened in 1983, the museum was the first tangible sign of Glasgow’s ambition to reinvent its global image and become an internationally recognised cultural powerhouse, demonstrated by the city being awarded European Capital of Culture in 1990,” said David McDonald, the chair of Glasgow Life and deputy leader of Glasgow City Council.
“The reopening of the Burrell Collection will spark renewed interest in the city and in the beauty and world-class significance of the works of art. The Burrell Collection was an exceptional gift to Glasgow, and we are looking forward to sharing it with the world again from March 2022.”
The collection of more than 9,000 works of arts was amassed by William Burrell (1861-1958), a shipping company owner, over a 75-year period. It was gifted to the city of Glasgow in 1944. Many items from the collection have been loaned to venues across the world during the museum’s closure.