The Burrell Collection in Glasgow is set to reopen in March 2022 following a multi-year, £68.25 million building upgrade which began in 2016.

The refurbished, Grade A listed building will house new gallery spaces, digital displays and facilities, and is reportedly replacing power, heating and lighting systems with more efficient, sustainable technologies.

A 35% increase in the museum’s gallery space, made possible by the refurbishment, will be home to the collection. The rarest piece, it claims, is the Wagner Garden carpet, one of the three earliest surviving Persian garden carpets in the world.

The carpet, which was displayed at New York’s Metropolitan Museum in 2018, was one of many pieces loaned to museums around the world during the upgrade. On reopening it will go on permanent display for the first time.

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Installation of the Wagner Garden carpet - © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collections

Refurbishment plans began around five years ago in 2016, when John McAslan + Partners was appointed as architect for the refurbishment and redisplay. In 2017 Kier Construction Scotland was appointed as the main contractor. Construction began on the site in 2018 and was originally scheduled to finish in 2020.

The museum is one of a group managed by Glasgow Life, on behalf of Glasgow City Council.

Nearly half of the £68.25 million project was committed by Glasgow City Council, with a £16.5m contribution from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, £5.75 million from The Scottish Government, £5 million from the UK Government, alongside contributions from trusts and private donors.

Sir William Burrell

Sir William Burrell (1861-1958), owner of a successful shipping company in Glasgow, amassed 9,000 works of art. He and his wife Constance, Lady Burrell, gifted The Collection to the City of Glasgow in 1944.

The exterior of The Burrell Collection Exterior - © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collections

Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council said: “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. 

“The Burrell Collection was an exceptional gift to Glasgow, and we are looking forward to sharing it with the world again from March 2022.”  

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