The reopening of the jewel in Glasgow’s cultural crown has been delayed yet again – resulting in the city’s Burrell Gallery remaining closed for at least five years.
The world-famous museum in Pollok Park shut in 2016 and was due to open its doors once more this year, following a £66 million renovation.
However, the date was put back to spring 2021 when operators Glasgow Life said it was preferable to open “in the sunshine”.
The organisation, an arm’s length agency of Glasgow City Council, has confirmed this date will not now be achieved and says the expected opening date “is now being revised”.
Alex Mosson, a former Lord Provost of the city, said the double delay means that The Burrell has been largely forgotten about and has now lost its global reputation.
He has urged that the building – and other cultural facilities – are removed from the control of Glasgow Life and power restored to the local authority.
He said: “They should never have outsourced The Burrell and other museums to Glasgow Life. They should have kept The Burrell in-house, where it would still have been subject to political scrutiny.
“If councillors had been in charge during the last five years, these delays would not have been allowed to happen. The place will have been shut for half a decade. It has no reputation now because it is closed.”
The contents of The Burrell Collection were gifted to the city in 1944 by shipping magnate Sir William Burrell. It was not until 1983 that they found a permanent home in Pollok Park, with the Queen conducting the opening ceremony.
Glasgow Life said that when the site shut for a few weeks during lockdown in spring, it resulted in a detrimental effect on the works schedule.
A spokesperson for Glasgow Life said: “The refurbishment of the Burrell Collection is continuing in line with government guidance.
“The shutdown of the site and new methods of working are having an impact on the previously projected timescales of our contractors and suppliers, meaning our expected opening date is being revised.
“We are continuing to work with them to ensure everyone works safely while delivering what will be a wonderful museum showcasing a brilliant collection. A new opening date will be announced as soon as we are confident the impact of Covid-19 has been fully assessed.”
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