Glasgow’s Burrell Collection tour its art overseas

Published on : Tuesday, November 12, 2013

burrel Glasgow’s Burrell Collection (a 1958 bequest) should be allowed to tour its art overseas as announced by Scottish parliamentary committee. This would eventually help to raise funds for refurbishing its building. This clears the way for a travelling exhibition that would stop in six international venues, including some in the US.


It is hoped to raise £15m through sponsorship and fundraising as a result of loans and a tour as reported by the committee. However, they are still skeptical about the amount of fund that would be raised.


When William Burrell bequeathed his collection to Glasgow in 1958 he specified that the works should never be lent abroad, because he feared they could be damaged at sea. His museum opened in 1983 and the building is now in urgent need of repairs and upgrading. The city council, backed by the Burrell Collection trustees, is therefore seeking parliamentary approval to change the terms of his bequest, primarily because art and air transport are now much safer.


A touring exhibition of 100 highlights from the collection is expected to go to the US, and there have been discussions with Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Frick Collection, both in New York. Venues in Canada, France, Russia, Japan, Australia and Qatar are also being considered.


The private bill allowing international loans will go for its first reading in the full Scottish Parliament later in November, when it is expected to be approved. It should receive final parliamentary approval in January. The Burrell Collection is due to close in 2016 for a four-year refurbishment, costing £45m.

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