Burrell Collection set for a makeover in 2016

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Plans to close the Burrell Collection from October 2016 to refurbish building have been approved by Glasgow City Council.

GCC’s executive committee gave the green light to the closure date last week, allowing plans for a complete overhaul and redisplay to commence.

Councillor Archie Graham, depute council leader and chair of Glasgow Life, said: “The Burrell Collectino is an international flagship for Glasgow and holds a unique position in the cultural life of the city.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the public to see the building and collection before autumn 2016, when the Burrell will embark on an innovative programme that will transform it into an exemplar of a 21st century museum.”

The proposal includes changes to the roof, building fabric, interior and ageing plant, before redesigning displays to create a new experience for museum-goers.

The Pollok Park attraction opened in 1983, but has been branded as no longer fit for purpose, with a number of galleries closed in fear of water leaks damaging objects and paintings.

Refurbishment plans aim to make the museum more energy efficient, and the work will also be used to investigate linking the Burrell to a micro hydro-electric scheme, to be created beside a 19th century former sawmill by the park’s White Cart river.

Basement stores will also be open to the public for the first time, increasing the number of items in the 9,000-strong collection available for the public to view.

At present, only 20 per cent of the collection — donated to the city by Sir William Burrell in 1944 — is on display.

A 12 month programe of events leading up to the temporary closure kicks off this season.

Some of the collection will then go on display at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum while the rest heads off on an international fundraising tour.

The collection hit headlines in 2014 as MSPs approved legislation allowing the collection to leave the country, despite Sir Burrell’s condition that the items were not to be loaned overseas.