Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

30 years of the Burrell

It’s rather hard for me to grasp the concept of the Burrell Collection having been in place for 30 years. I won’t even try and guesstimate how long I think it’s been around, but if I had been asked, I would have been well short of the real answer (until I had looked up the relevant date.)

It’s on the ‘wrong’ side’ of Glasgow for me. Although I’ve looked at the public transport option, it seems to involve so many changes that I never considered it realistic as I’d have been knackered (all hot and bothered and thoroughly fed by the time I got there – and still had the return trip to look forward to) by the time I got there.

While I could not even try to count the number of times I’ve fallen through the doors of Kelvingrove, I’m afraid my visits to the Burrell would probably need the fingers of only one hand, and not all of them.

I confess that the charge for the car park put me off, as the collection itself has not admission charge. And the problem was not the amount charged, but that there seemed to be nothing in return. On the few occasions I did visit, the car park was unstaffed (ticket machines took my money), and the high point of each visit was seeing the police attend as the locals seemed to see the cars as their own ‘Smash & Carry’ takeaways, which must have ruined the day for those who were targeted to have their windows smashed. At least I knew well enough to empty mine, and leave nothing on show, not even the car radio (removable).

I haven’t been there for some years now, so don’t know if the car park is still the same.

But the car park is not the collection, and that is still something to celebrate.

The Burrell is said to attract in excess of 200,000 visitors per annum. A good number, but I can’t think a more accessible location would see more feet through the door – but on the other hand, the building and its location were given specific conditions as part of Burrell’s bequest of his collection to the Glasgow, so I can only make that a personal observation and thought.

The building (which was A listed not too long ago) is due to close for some 4 years come 2016, in order to allow refurbishment to take place. The new works will ultimately allow an increase in the number of items which can be displayed.

it is hoped that items from the collection will be allowed to go on a World Tour while the building is closed, however there is some controversy associated with this proposal. Understandably, at the time of the original bequest, one of the conditions laid down by Burrell was that items would not be loaned, as he feared they would be damaged in transit. Clearly, transport has come a long way since then, and such items are now routinely moved without harm, so permission is being sought at Parliamentary level in order to modify the terms. The hope being that by circulating items from the collection, it will become better known throughout the World, leading to even more visitors to the collection proper.

They certainly have the space (and more after the refurb) as the building had appeared almost deserted on the occasions I did visit.

Burrell building

Burrell Collection, Pollok Park, Glasgow © Iain Thompson via Geograph

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October 21, 2013 - Posted by | Civilian, council | , , ,

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