An internationally renowned religious museum in Glasgow has reopened its doors to the public for the first time in over two years.
It had been feared that financial constraints would mean the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, closed since the coronavirus lockdown of March 2020, would never welcome visitors back.
However, thanks to funding from Glasgow City Council and the efforts of local group Interfaith Glasgow, the unique resource has been saved.
Named after Glasgow’s patron saint, who brought the Christian faith to Scotland in the 6th century, the museum explores the importance of religion across the world and across time.
One of very few public museums in the world dedicated solely to religion, visitors can view beautiful, important artworks and objects connected to religious belief and practice and discover the stories behind them.
The museum is recognised globally for its role in promoting understanding and respect between people of different faiths and those of none.
Duncan Dornan, Head of Museums and Collection with Glasgow Life Museums, said: “Since St Mungo Museum opened in 1993, we have worked with the local community to create imaginative displays, ground-breaking educational programmes, interfaith dialogue, and interesting topical exhibitions.
“Together this has established the museum’s popularity and reputation as a neutral and safe space for encouraging dialogue and understanding, often of challenging topics. It’s wonderful news we are open and ready to welcome the public back to St Mungo’s.”
Visitors representing numerous faith groups from across Glasgow took a tour of the museum on Wednesday.
Phillip Mendelsohn, Chair of Interfaith Glasgow, said: “Interfaith Glasgow is delighted that St. Mungo’s Museum is reopening, as it’s such an important resource to the faith communities of Glasgow and the wider community.
“As a city with many refugees and asylum seekers, sharing the story of the many faiths in the city is important in building community cohesion. The importance of St Mungo’s extends far beyond the city as it is one of the few museums of comparative religion in the world and is unique in the UK.
“We look forward to renewing our partnership working with the wonderful team at the museum and, especially, to being able to deliver our ever-popular ‘Faith to Faith’ events in person again.”
The museum is open every day 10am – 5pm, except on Friday and Sunday when it opens at 11am. It will also be closed on Monday for The Queen’s funeral.
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