Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Private Bill to relax Burrell bequest terms begins Holyrood journey

While I couldn’t resist the inevitable poke at Glasgow City Council’s traditional habits last time round, I’ll keep my ‘funny bone’ in check this time round.

It’s true that when shipping magnate Sir William Burrell (1861-1958) made his original bequest to his city of Glasgow, and gifted his massive collection to city, transport of anything fragile was a risky business, and if anyone should know just how risky it was, Sir William should have, given his description as a shipping magnate.

One condition of the bequest was that his prized artworks and historical artefacts would not be loaned overseas, for fear of damage during transport.

In all fairness, transportation of such items has come a long way since Sir William’s day, and the chances of such damage occurring are slight when carried out properly – as might be expected in the case of Burrell artefacts.

It seems that some 30 or so requests for loan items are being turned down annually, in line with the terms of the bequest. A figure that could grow if the terms can be varied.

However, it also seems that items in the collection are parts of larger sets that were broken up many years ago, as they were acquired by Burrell, and by being able to share such items, it will be possible for such parted items to be brought together and displayed as a whole, which would be a bonus for all concerned. Think of it as a two-way exchange, as we could not only loan our items, but ask for others to be loaned to us. Something that is hard to do when you are unable to return the favour.

It’s hard to see how the Bill could fail reasonably, unless someone can make a case of the “Bequest being the bequest” and written in stone, never to be altered.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that what is on show at any given time is only a fraction of the total collection, with much of the content being held in storage, and out of sight.

Via Private Bill bid to let Burrell Collection ‘go on loan’

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May 30, 2013 - Posted by | Civilian, council | , , ,

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