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Glasgow Boards/Forums _ Glasgow News Blog _ Glasgow To Lose Burrell Collection

Posted by: GG 15th Sep 2013, 02:09pm

It was all supposed to be so different. When Stephen Purcell, the former leader of Glasgow City Council, created Glasgow Life on April Fool's Day in 2007*, he boasted that transferring the management of the city's cultural assets to a private company would benefit Glasgow. Since then, Glaswegians have experienced a reduction in opening hours at our museums and libraries, suffered rising prices at our leisure venues, and had to endure the introduction of entrance fees to exhibitions ... even when those exhibitions consisted mainly of works owned by us.

Last week, however, bosses at Glasgow Life went a step further in imperilling the proud reputation of our great city when they formally petitioned the Scottish government to overturn the unambiguous wishes of Sir William Burrell regarding his generously bequeathed collection. Councillor Archie Graham and Glasgow Life boss Bridget McConnell visited Holyrood to ask the Scottish government to sideline Sir William's deed of covenant that stated clearly that the Burrell Collection should not be broken up and sent abroad.

Missing the main point regarding breaking up the internationally-renowned collection, Graham and McConnell argued that Sir William could not possibly have foreseen the advent of air freight transporation. The two Glasgow Life bosses put forward the most tenuous of cases in spite of the fact that Sir William clearly re-stated and reinforced in a 1953 codicil the conditions of his bequest after he discovered that the council had sent two paintings from the collection to Switzerland – against his written will. In response to the council's (then corporation’s) flagrant disregard of Sir William's wishes, the highly-successful shipping magnate and entrepreneur wrote:

QUOTE
''The Memorandum of Agreement with the Corporation only gives permission to lend items from the collection to any public gallery in Great Britain. That stipulation was made to safeguard the items from damage. Had I known in time it would not have been allowed. It mustn't occur again.''

For its part, the council subsequently gave Sir William an unqualified assurance that ''in view of your strongly expressed attitude to lending you may be assured there will be no further loans overseas, and that requests for loans within Scotland and England will be closely scrutinized, but rarely granted.''

Now, however, using the pretext of the need for the Burrell Collection building in Pollok Park to undergo a ‘George Square-style revamp‘ – apparently there’s a leaky roof – Glasgow Life and council bosses claim that the 30-year-old building needs to be shut to the public for up to five years. During this time, Glasgow Life intends to tout the artefacts in the collection worldwide; thereafter, the company will transport priceless and vulnerable works of art to the highest bidders around the globe.

A growing list of international experts is now condemning Glasgow’s intentions, including Dr Nicholas Penny, the director of the National Gallery in London, who last week said that moving works of art had led to several major accidents, incidents and damage to works, many of which have not come to public attention. In response, Glasgow Life claimed that there had been no damage to any of the (non-Burrell) items shipped around the world in the last five years.

--
UPDATE 31/12/2014:
Youtube video remembering The Burrell Collection




GG.

Posted by: Jupiter 15th Sep 2013, 02:31pm

What kind of people are we dealing with when they wish to break a contract ie the covenant made by the city and Sir William.Their arrogance is breathtaking.
If the building needs refurbishment by all means close it and get the work done but there should be no wriggle room when it comes to the collection.
I have to ask what legal power would the Scottish Govt have to make decisions of the type they are asking ?
I just remembered I visited the Burrell 97-98 when I was deployed on the M77 construction and I recall there were buckets placed about because of leaks.
I bought this piece as a momento.


 

Posted by: fourbytwo 15th Sep 2013, 02:54pm

thumbup.gif ...."what kind of people are we dealing with...", surely by now you must know...
Gangsters, Thieves, Self-Opinionates, especially hand-picked so that they are more photo-genic than the old..."here for the people candidates".
Forming Council groups for personal profit as 'at arms length' but run as a Council Quango and without any access by 'Joe Public'
Allowed to give themselves large private salaries, and become 'self-important' posers, using every service the Council can provide, and of course if challenged on any matter, both personal and financial, use the full force of the Council's Legal Department to defend their actions....!
DOES THAT LET YOU KNOW WHAT PEOPLE YOU ARE DEALING WITH.....?

Posted by: Betsy2009 15th Sep 2013, 03:12pm

When I was working in Kent I totally refurbished a building, with most staff still on site. The building was pretty much gutted on the inside and done anew, including all the plumbing, electrics (lots for the PCs, etc.), removing asbestos and so on. It was achieved by moving staff out of one section to another, doing the work then moving them back. The poor staff were moved quite a few times (you can imagine the headache that gave me!) but the point is that surely the collection could be stored safely or the work done in stages. The entire building (200 staff) was completed in under a year. Why do they need 5 years? It would be quicker to build a new one. Other than making money out of this, I don't understand their reasoning.

Posted by: carmella 15th Sep 2013, 03:22pm

A Covenant should be upheld, what on earth are these people thinking about.

It is a true saying that 'money talks'. I've just heard about this and I'm disgusted.

The building housing the Burrell collection is supposed to be upgraded - mind you I didn't see anything wrong with it as it was, repairs are one thing entirely and obviously have to be carried on as and when required to safeguard this massive collection.

I often muse at the energy this man had in his willingness to collect, so much so, that a lot of it has still never been seen, and there is a constant recirculation of the stored items with the ones exhibited so that eventually we will see all of it.

Just amazing, and that's what I always tell people who have still not experienced the delights of this great collection.

I most certainly have voted in the 'no' camp, as it looks as if we all have.

Posted by: Heather 15th Sep 2013, 03:34pm

I'm disgusted by this decision.

The Collection does not belong to the Council, it was gifted to the people of Glasgow.

After the mess the Council made of George Square, what faith could we have in them making a decent revamp of the building the Burrell Collection is in.

If the Council go ahead with this decision, will the full Collection ever be returned to Glasgow.

If the Countries the Collection go to pay for the loan, what do the Council intend to spend the money on, more overseas trips for themselves.

Why should it take five years to modernise the Building, especially when the Council have their own work force.

Posted by: *Sandy Brown* 15th Sep 2013, 03:50pm

Come on folks, give the Scottish MPs some credibility - didn't they do a great deal with Donald Trump and a billion dollar deal for Aberdeen?
Sorry, my medication must be wearing off!

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 15th Sep 2013, 04:00pm

QUOTE (Betsy2009 @ 15th Sep 2013, 03:10pm) *
Why do they need 5 years? ...
QUOTE
Other than making money out of this
... I don't understand their reasoning.

You've answered your own question Betsy.
To claim that the projected task will require 5 years gives Glasgow Life the excuse they need to make a bit of pocket-lining money under the guise of protecting the collection better by renting it out while the work is being carried out.
... in other words, a scam cool.gif .

QUOTE
Stained glass

The museum is home to one of the greatest assemblies of medieval stained glass in the world. There are more than 700 stained glass panels from across Europe in the collection, including many examples of Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque styles.

In 2013 a project was commenced to conserve and research the museum's collection of stained glass from the Carmelite church at Boppard-am-Rhein, Germany. The 34 panels that make up the Burrell collection of Boppard windows have a combined surface area of 14 square metres.

I'd hate to be responsible for transporting that collection to a town on the Rhein.

Posted by: Harrymc 15th Sep 2013, 04:41pm

What part of Sir William Burrell's instructions do these idiots not understand?
If there is such great interest in the collection then the rest of the world should visit Glasgow where there surely must be a building capable of housing the collection while the "leaky roof "is fixed.
It must be some size of a roof to take 5 years to repair it.Who has surveyed it and come to that conclusion?
It would also be interesting to know why the roof was ever allowed to deteriorate to such condition that a major operation is now required to restore it.
Who was asleep on the job???

Posted by: frame 15th Sep 2013, 04:43pm

The Burrell Collection. I'm very ashamed to have to admit I've never seen it. From time to time down through the years I've heard it spoken of or discussed in some parts of the media.
Because of that I knew it was a huge collection of European and Asian artworks and artifacts collected by Sir Wiliam Burrell and bequeathed to the City of Glasgow..
I imagine that by giving his treasures to his city of birth, Sir William was holding the councilors of Glasgow to a sacred trust that they, and subsequent councilors, would hold the faith and under no circumstances, ever let the collection or any part of it leave Scotland.
Little did he know that less than 70 years later, two dimwits would come up with an idea to close the museum down and rent out the collection. Is that down to stupidity or just plain arrogance?
I hope the Scottish government refuse this request by Graham and McConnell and I hope they do it in a very harsh way

Posted by: norrie123 15th Sep 2013, 04:54pm

Perhaps they are hoping to rise the cost of the refurb by lending the works of art to other museums, thats not to say they would get the total cost that way
Where would they get the money for a refurb, Scottish Government or Westminster?

Put it all into storage, along with the other works of art from the collection
I have only been once to The Burrell and wasnt impressed, mind you it was a long time ago, perhaps I should go soon



Bye for now, norrie

Posted by: myagnes 15th Sep 2013, 04:58pm

Why not let the World see the Burrell Collection, one year when my Wife and I were home on holidays, we saw the Dead Sea scrolls at the Art Galleries, I say lend them out, LET GLASGOW FLOURISH

Posted by: Jupiter 15th Sep 2013, 05:10pm

myagnes,the way I see it no one has the authority to lend them out.They were accepted for the people of Glasgow with certain conditions attached.Time doesnt erode these conditions.

Posted by: twig64 15th Sep 2013, 05:12pm

Maybe the bill for the Commonwealth Games has come in. Time to get the family silver out!!

Posted by: john.mcn 15th Sep 2013, 05:13pm

C'mon guys Bridget McConnell is paid a 6 figure salary so she must know what she's talking about.... ahem...

Posted by: twig64 15th Sep 2013, 06:03pm

QUOTE (john.mcn @ 15th Sep 2013, 05:11pm) *
C'mon guys Bridget McConnell is paid a 6 figure salary so she must know what she's talking about.... ahem...

Don`t worry though. She`ll be replaced by someone equally talented when she quits after the Games......ahem..........Susan Deighan. ohmy.gif

Posted by: chas1937 15th Sep 2013, 08:06pm

I stay next too Pollok Park and was at the opening of the Burrell when the Queen officially opened it.

If they could shut Kelvingrove Art Gallery and refurbished that then why need too shut for 5 years and move everything to who the hell knows where. Whole thing stinks of corruption and there will certainly be backhanders so folk can get items on loan albeit it's against Sir Williams will.

They are perfectly able to store everything in Glasgow and that's where it should stay. When you come too think of it the whole collection wasn't even supposed to have been placed anywhere near a certain amount of miles off Glasgow. If my memory is correct it was stored just of the Auchenhowie Rd near Milngavie

Posted by: Jazzsaxman 15th Sep 2013, 11:05pm

My Son showed me something funny the other week when he typed in directions to Mordor using Google Maps. The answer Google maps gave was that one simply does not walk in to Mordor. Despite that it placed a pin on the map showing that Mordor was somewhere in Glasgow. I'm guessing the council headquarters and if that be the case then we know who Sauron is and who the Orcs are. Especially when they come up with this sort of nonsense. It just shows what happened when uneducated dimwits are put in charge of things. This is as bad as the idea to move the statues from George Square.

Posted by: Albanach 15th Sep 2013, 11:18pm

It is downright dishonesty and betrayal of trust to accept a gift and with it the conditions made by the donor and then to renege on them when the donor is no longer with us. The people of Glasgow are the beneficiaries, not the politicians currently occupying the City Chambers and it seems that the people of Glasgow want their representative to respect William Burrell's wishes.

I wonder how future prospective donors will view the willingness of Glasgow's 'leaders' to disregard Wiilaim Burrell's conditions when making their bequests? We should be grateful that the Council's predecessors didn't have similar ideas when Kelvingrove Art Gallery was up for renovation!

Posted by: DavidT 15th Sep 2013, 11:28pm

I was also at the opening of the Burrell. It means a lot to tourism in the south of Glasgow. It also means a lot to a lot of locals. Don't farm it out. Don't let it be split up, sent overseas, pilfered, siphoned, ruined or lost. I personally love the Burrell. I love the situation of it.
Some pics from a couple of years ago...
http://dtpicture.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/burrell-collection-glasgow-nov-2011.html?m=1

Posted by: Talisman 15th Sep 2013, 11:43pm

QUOTE (Harrymc @ 15th Sep 2013, 04:39pm) *
What part of Sir William Burrell's instructions do these idiots not understand?
If there is such great interest in the collection then the rest of the world should visit Glasgow where there surely must be a building capable of housing the collection while the "leaky roof "is fixed.
It must be some size of a roof to take 5 years to repair it.Who has surveyed it and come to that conclusion?
It would also be interesting to know why the roof was ever allowed to deteriorate to such condition that a major operation is now required to restore it.
Who was asleep on the job???

Please allow me to take you to task here for calling those responsible "IDIOTS". Idiots they are obviously not as they have succeeded where others have failed in robbing Glasgow of it's most prized cultural asset. There is no doubt also in my mind that there will be an element of private augmentation of funds finding their way into the pockets of these "Tribunes of the People". I well remember when the the tender was alloted to international competiotion to design appropriate housing for "Glasgowns own Collection", the council in its laboured wisdom decide to go ahead and have it's own miserable architectural failures design the building. The result was a "classical" pastiche of a pseudo Hellenic Pantheon wedding cake, ridiculed throughout the world as a bad joke in very poor taste. Who votes for these venal self serving mendicants anyway?

Posted by: Mary 16th Sep 2013, 03:14am

If they break up the famous collection then who is to say that they will ever put it back together again. This is a quite disgraceful turn of events even for a city where the thoughts of people are treated like dirt. Why is there no outcry in the media or from other politicians?

Posted by: tarzan 16th Sep 2013, 07:20am

Is anyone surprised? Does anyone think that Bridget McConnell, Purcell etc. have any interest in Glasgow?

Posted by: Jupiter 16th Sep 2013, 08:27am

I was wondering if Burrell has any descendants still living.It would be interesting if there were as Im sure their voice would lend a lot of weight when it comes to condemning these proposals.
I dont know anything of the original donation process but Im sure that Glasgow and its people were given the collection in perpetuity and that the Corporation as it was then were the guardians.Is there a fall back clause in the arrangement if it was said that in future years the corporation couldnt afford to house it they would rent it out.I dont think so.
I think Burrell will be Birrlinn at this stooshie.

Posted by: *LizN* 16th Sep 2013, 09:30am

I totally agree with Frame's comments in his last paragraph - I hope the Scottish Government come down hard on these people who want to break (or sideline) a covenant made IN GOOD FAITH many years ago. Whenever anything which government and/or councils used to own/run is privatised, then we all pay the expensive price for this, it's happened all over the world; just look at our utilities, public transport etc.

These private owners are only in it to top up their fat bank accounts and self-interest, not for the good of Glasgow, or anyone else. The Burrell Collection should stay in Glasgow, and if anyone wants Glasgow to prosper, then people can/will visit and bring their money to Glasgow.

Posted by: Scots Kiwi Lass 16th Sep 2013, 09:33am

On my last trip to my home town (2011), I was privileged to visit the Burrell Collection. It was an amazing experience and I could have done with another 2 or 3 visits. Just awesome!

Please, Glaswegians, don't let these priceless treasures out of the city. There is something very wrong with this proposal and I can only hope that common sense prevails and the building repairs are carried out systematically without any of the collection being removed. WHERE THERE'S A WILL, THERE'S A WAY.

Posted by: Harrymc 16th Sep 2013, 10:23am

QUOTE (Talisman @ 15th Sep 2013, 11:41pm) *
Please allow me to take you to task here for calling those responsible "IDIOTS". Idiots they are obviously not as they have succeeded where others have failed in robbing Glasgow of it's most prized cultural asset. There is no doubt also in my mind that there will be an element of private augmentation of funds finding their way into the pockets of these "Tribunes of the People". I well remember when the the tender was alloted to international competiotion to design appropriate housing for "Glasgowns own Collection", the council in its laboured wisdom decide to go ahead and have it's own miserable architectural failures design the building. The result was a "classical" pastiche of a pseudo Hellenic Pantheon wedding cake, ridiculed throughout the world as a bad joke in very poor taste. Who votes for these venal self serving mendicants anyway?


Posted by: Harrymc 16th Sep 2013, 10:28am

Thank you for your enlightened reply to my post.I was obviously being unkind to real IDIOTS by coferring such status upon these self serving .......(insert your own term here).
I am more than happy to accept your comment.

Posted by: carmella 16th Sep 2013, 10:40am

QUOTE (john.mcn @ 15th Sep 2013, 06:11pm) *
C'mon guys Bridget McConnell is paid a 6 figure salary so she must know what she's talking about.... ahem...

I had no idea this woman was so highly paid - well has she been sitting on the job or what, I wonder?

Large salaries don't equate to brains of course, or attention to detail!

Posted by: Landales 16th Sep 2013, 11:36am

I understand Glasgow needs money but I don't condone breaking covenants/contracts. I understand that if we loan some abroad then others may think I hope to see the rest of the collection so come over here as a tourist and get fleeced doing so.

I also have a problem with the fact they said it would take 5 years for refurbishment... Why? Did they get a quote from land services or is it because they're letting apprentices practice on the building of it?

Posted by: DavidT 16th Sep 2013, 11:46am

QUOTE (Mary @ 16th Sep 2013, 03:12am) *
If they break up the famous collection then who is to say that they will ever put it back together again. This is a quite disgraceful turn of events even for a city where the thoughts of people are treated like dirt. Why is there no outcry in the media or from other politicians?

I have to agree Mary. Didn't something like this happen to Mclellan's much smaller collection? Some of it is in Kelvingrove, some in the trades house, some in storage. I don't know if that accounts for the whole lot.

Posted by: serabash 16th Sep 2013, 11:49am

Maybe if we sack Bridget McConnell and her cronies we can save enough to cover the costs of keeping the collection together.

Posted by: JAGZ1876 16th Sep 2013, 01:41pm

Enough public pressure may force them to have an about turn just like they did with the George Square debacle.

Posted by: GG 16th Sep 2013, 05:54pm

QUOTE (twig64 @ 15th Sep 2013, 06:10pm) *
Maybe the bill for the Commonwealth Games has come in. Time to get the family silver out!!

laugh.gif I think there is certainly a risk that we will be paying for the Commonwealth Games for years to come – either directly or indirectly! However, Glasgow Life is actually looking for more money to revamp the Burrell building over a 4-5 year period. Incredibly, Councillor Archie Graham claims that it will cost £45 million to revamp the building ... that's more than double what it cost to build it in the first place!

GG.


 

Posted by: GG 16th Sep 2013, 06:24pm

QUOTE (Jupiter @ 15th Sep 2013, 03:29pm) *
What kind of people are we dealing with when they wish to break a contract ie the covenant made by the city and Sir William.Their arrogance is breathtaking.
If the building needs refurbishment by all means close it and get the work done but there should be no wriggle room when it comes to the collection.
I have to ask what legal power would the Scottish Govt have to make decisions of the type they are asking ?
I just remembered I visited the Burrell 97-98 when I was deployed on the M77 construction and I recall there were buckets placed about because of leaks.
I bought this piece as a momento.

Nice piece, Jupiter. I hope it's not an original! wink.gif

The Scottish government has the legal authority to remove the restrictions on travel imposed in Sir 
William’s 1944 will and 1953 codicil. It requires formal legislation, which is to be considered by a committee of four MSPs, and that's currently taking place at Holyrood under the title 'http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/64720.aspx'. A preliminary decision on whether the Bill will be passed is not likely to be taken until November this year, with a final decision likely in January of next year. An initial report on the proceeding so far can be found as a PDF document http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=8477&mode=pdf.

According to Councillor Graham, Glasgow City Council has already committed to contributing £15 million, and they hope to get a further £15 million from the National Lottery Fund ... but the real doubtful figure is that Glasgow Life think they will get the same amount, £15 million, in profits from commercial sponsors! I've no doubt whatsoever that the commercial sponsorship would not end if the Burrell Collection ever returned to Pollok Park, more likely it would be the thin end of the wedge, and that is something, I believe, that really should be put to the people of Glasgow ... or we might get a big McDonalds sign over the entrance to the Burrell in future! smile.gif

GG.

Posted by: Jupiter 16th Sep 2013, 06:32pm

Thanks GG ,you have explained the powers the government possess ,I only hope that measures other than those proposed can be adopted.

Posted by: norrie123 16th Sep 2013, 06:45pm

If Glasgow cant afford this collection it should be returned, if possible to any descendants of Burrell, yes I know, it will never happen 45 million to revamp the building, why not use the Kelvin Hall, as far as I am aware they are empty just now?
Bye for now, norrie

Posted by: GG 16th Sep 2013, 06:54pm

Thanks Jupiter. I should have mentioned that the current parliamentary proceedings are an extension of a bitter and costly legal battle that the council had with the Burrell trustees and family in 1997. On that occasion, the council got a far from convincing victory from four Westminster parliamentary commissioners in their fight to overturn Sir William's wishes. The next stage was supposed to be what is known as an order confirmation bill from Westminster, presumably to put the decision into a legal framework, but I suppose that fell by the wayside with the formation of the Scottish parliament.

Anyway, notable from that 1997 decision was the reaction of the Burrell family. Following the decision, Ruth Mackenzie, then 87, Sir William's niece and oldest living relative and one of the few people still alive at that time who knew the shipping magnate well, said:

QUOTE
"This decision is completely contrary to what was in the will. And we all feel that it is wrong to break the will and split the collection.

It is going to set a very bad precedent for other collections and people who want to donate works of art. Ethically it is just wrong and Sir William would be truly horrified. I feel very let down by Glasgow council who have broken their word: what could be worse than that."

During the proceedings, Ms Mackenzie had made this heartfelt plea:
QUOTE
"It's a matter of honour, a question of if you honour your commitment or not. The council gave its word that it would honour his wishes but it has now done its best to overturn them.

I used to visit Uncle William at Hutton Castle with my mother. She was his youngest and favourite sister. They built up quite a bit of the collection together while travelling on the continent, they used to hunt as a pair.

He would be furious if he knew what the council is doing. I don't think he would have given it to Glasgow if he knew this would happen, he would have given it to someone he could have trusted, perhaps Edinburgh as the capital, I think.

He would have thought the money spent on this hearing [from the Burrell trust] would have been better spent adding to the collection."

GG.

Posted by: Jupiter 16th Sep 2013, 07:20pm

That statement in my opinion should be all that is required to put the brakes on the proposals.This is the complete answer to the point I made in an earlier post re family wishes.GG thanks for taking the time to look into this.

Posted by: Dylan 16th Sep 2013, 07:53pm

I took my children regularly when they were young.

A National Treasure with treasures !

Five years for required building work.?

Who are they trying to kid. Surely this could be easily exposed !!

Posted by: Billbhein 16th Sep 2013, 08:06pm

Why not compromise; Close down the City Chambers for five years and send the occupants to the four corners of the earth on loan. Hopefully most of them would be lost to the city forever, as would the Burrell Collection if these people get their own way.

Billbhein

Posted by: GG 16th Sep 2013, 09:06pm

QUOTE (Talisman @ 16th Sep 2013, 12:41am) *
Please allow me to take you to task here for calling those responsible "IDIOTS". Idiots they are obviously not as they have succeeded where others have failed in robbing Glasgow of it's most prized cultural asset. ...

I would have to agree with you, Talisman and HarryMc. We are not dealing with idiots here – although we may be angry with their decisions – these people are far from idiots; on the contrary, they are calculating, patient and intelligent, knowing how to influence the levers of power while, at the same time, muting the opposition. Worrying times for Glasgow.

GG.

Posted by: carmella 16th Sep 2013, 09:08pm

I am actually surprised that they are being allowed to feed the media and the public these stories - I think this is rubbish about the roof repairs and the 45, million how can they possibly justify this, has anyone taken them to task, or is it just the case that because they are who they are, they get carte blanche to do whatever they want, and justify it by whatever means they want.

I think that this is such a serious matter i.e. the roof and the cost involved, that it should be referred to a higher authority, and asked why the roof was not maintained properly all these years. I recall when the building was built, and it was state of the art, custom built to house the collection which was the same size then as it is now, so why all of a sudden is it deemed insufficient and in need of a further 45 million???

My mind is having a hard time accepting what we've been told to be honest.

Posted by: Doug1 16th Sep 2013, 10:34pm

I dont personally care what they do with the building but the Burrell collection must surely be kept intact, is that not what Sir William wanted. Had space been available I would have loved to see it either in or adjacent to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum where it would have been accessed by far more visitors in a more central city location.

Posted by: GG 16th Sep 2013, 10:55pm

Regarding the very real dangers the Burrell Collection will face during any transportation process – including the “put in condition” procedure prior to moving objects – anyone with an interest should read the following informative ArtWatch article:

Protecting the Burrell Collection ~ A Blast against Risk-Deniers
http://artwatchuk.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/6-september-2013

The article concludes with this highly-pertinent warning:

QUOTE
[...] Burrell be warned. Awful as recent “developments” at the Phillips have been, the United States has witnessed an even greater betrayal of a bequest: the wresting of the entire contents of the Barnes Collection from its, also bequested, delightful purpose-built original home and grounds, in order to place it in a worse than awful modernist pile a few miles away, hard by a noisy polluting freeway in the centre of Philadelphia. The denouement of the Barnes Bequest hike began (as is proposed at the Burrell) with a vast international travelling exhibition. At the Barnes, as now at the Burrell, the jaunt was premised on the morally-coercive “conservation” justification of putting the building itself “into condition” on behalf of the great collection of works. Humbug has rarely appeared so rank. The specially commissioned “site specific” Matisse mural was detached from the walls of the museum, packed on a flat-bed, open truck – against all reassuring conservation-compatible promises – and carried at an angle (see photographs, right) to Washington. Nick Tinari, who is to submit testimony to the Burrell Inquiry, has informed ArtWatch “I can state unequivocally that damage was done on the tour to the Matisse mural, the Seurat Models and a Picasso. I have documentation for all three.” Tinari further points out that, as with the intended Burrell tour, the Barnes tour – which netted $7m – breached the benefactor’s express prohibition on foreign loans. Far from serving to make the collection safe, that earlier exercise paved the way to a full takeover. More generally, it served as a template for trustees everywhere who might wish to harvest cash value that is otherwise locked into permanently housed works of art.

Clearly, Dr Penny’s intervention addresses much more than the welfare of the Burrell Collection, precious and vulnerable though it is. It is greatly to Penny’s credit that he should have spoken in such frank (and brave) terms. It is also greatly to the credit of the Scottish Parliament that it should be engaging in such an open exercise before another art world horse may be induced to bolt.

My personal opinion is that the breaking up of the collection is not simply an event, rather, it is the start of a wider process – similar to that which transformed the Barnes Collection – which will fundamentally alter the Burrell Collection in ways we cannot yet envisage.

GG.

Posted by: Betsy2009 16th Sep 2013, 11:06pm

Perhaps it's because all the builders are so busy building small council houses that they won't be able to start the job for 4 years?

Posted by: carmella 16th Sep 2013, 11:34pm

I agree with what GG has said, and also the building itself whilst it was specifically built to house the collection. I often wondered at the wisdom of where the building is - it's handy if you're coming into Glasgow from the south of course, but had it been nearer the art gallery and museum, I do think more people would have had access.

Posted by: ashfield 17th Sep 2013, 07:27am

Carmella, I think there was a condition that the collection had to be housed away from the city centre (15 miles?). The current location was a compromise as I remember it.

I am totally in agreement with previous posts, it's an outrage that there is any thought of lending the collection. What they should be doing is finding a solution that allows it to remain on public view.

Posted by: RonD 17th Sep 2013, 12:56pm

Is it jut me or am I missing something. The beginning of this thread was 2003 ...ten years ago and we are still discussing it. The five years to remodel or refurbish the building has gone by twice and going by inflation it could have been done for less than 45 million and our discussion would be moot. Also it should not be shipped abroad as requested by the benefactor or his wishes manipulated by some city MBA to line the council coffers. They wanted the Commonwealth games please lets hope they had a solid plan for financing beyond this "maybe if" concept.

Posted by: Jupiter 17th Sep 2013, 01:02pm

Ron as I mentioned in an earlier post I was in the place 97-98 and leaks and water ingress were an issue.

Posted by: Rab 17th Sep 2013, 01:07pm

QUOTE (RonD @ 17th Sep 2013, 01:54pm) *
Is it jut me or am I missing something. The beginning of this thread was 2003 ...ten years ago and we are still discussing it. The five years to remodel or refurbish the building has gone by twice and going by inflation it could have been done for less than 45 million and our discussion would be moot. Also it should not be shipped abroad as requested by the benefactor or his wishes manipulated by some city MBA to line the council coffers. They wanted the Commonwealth games please lets hope they had a solid plan for financing beyond this "maybe if" concept.

Ron according to the thread start it reads 15th Sept. 2013!

Posted by: norrie123 17th Sep 2013, 01:39pm

Hi Rab, I didn't want to be the one who brought this up but I to was under the impression that this idea has been on the go for years and am sure it was on this site

Bye for now, norrie.

Posted by: ashfield 17th Sep 2013, 03:20pm

QUOTE (RonD @ 17th Sep 2013, 01:54pm) *
Is it jut me or am I missing something. The beginning of this thread was 2003 ...ten years ago

Ron, have another look. I think you have been looking at the time of day that the first post was made.

Posted by: Scotsman 17th Sep 2013, 04:49pm

I can remember the leaking roof and buckets on the floor when I last visited and that must have been before 2000. Why has nothing been done about it until now and why is it going to take a fantastic sum like £45M to do it.... like other people I would like some answers if its going to be my money that is going to fund this!!

There are cutbacks year after year but now they say they can find £45M. rolleyes.gif Something is not right about this and why is it only now that we have heard about it?? Why was there no consultation.... in this modern age it would have been easy for the council to ask for opinions on the web. Maybe they might not like what they would hear so they decided not to do it??

Posted by: ashfield 17th Sep 2013, 05:00pm

QUOTE (Scotsman @ 17th Sep 2013, 05:47pm) *
There are cutbacks year after year but now they say they can find £45M. rolleyes.gif

Perhaps the rental on the Burrell collection works out about £9m a year eyebrow.gif

Posted by: norrie123 17th Sep 2013, 06:44pm

Hi Ashfield, I didn't realise Glasgow had to rent the Burrell Museum, thats a hefty rental
If its rented, why should Glasgow repair it
Does Glasgow own Kelvin Hall?

Bye for now, norrie

Posted by: ashfield 17th Sep 2013, 07:13pm

Sorry Norrie, I meant the income from other museums for hiring the exhibits.

Posted by: GG 17th Sep 2013, 08:15pm

QUOTE (carmella @ 16th Sep 2013, 10:06pm) *
I am actually surprised that they are being allowed to feed the media and the public these stories - I think this is rubbish about the roof repairs and the £45 million how can they possibly justify this, has anyone taken them to task, or is it just the case that because they are who they are, they get carte blanche to do whatever they want, and justify it by whatever means they want.

I think that this is such a serious matter i.e. the roof and the cost involved, that it should be referred to a higher authority, and asked why the roof was not maintained properly all these years. I recall when the building was built, and it was state of the art, custom built to house the collection which was the same size then as it is now, so why all of a sudden is it deemed insufficient and in need of a further £45 million???

My mind is having a hard time accepting what we've been told to be honest.

You're not the only one, Carmella! Both your points – the delay in fixing the roof and the £45 million price tag for revamping – raised eyebrows with members of the Scottish Parliament committee during the initial hearing last week.

Here's the exchange between Gordon MacDonald, Bridget McConnell and Archie Graham. There may be a bit of politicking going on in the background: MacDonald is an SNP MSP; Graham is a Labour councillor and husband of the current Scottish Labour leader; McConnell is the wife of a former Scottish Labour leader. Even so, and politics aside, I think the council and Glasgow Life have raised more questions than they have provided answers. The full document is available http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=8477&mode=pdf.

QUOTE
Gordon MacDonald: Over the past 30 years, if my understanding is correct, there has been a problem with the roof. Mark O’Neill, head of arts and museums, said in the 2007-08 Glasgow museums annual accreditation report: “the Burrell Collection’s roof ... has leaked almost since it was built”.

You say that you have spent £400 million over the past 20 years investing in museums in the Glasgow area. Why have you not resolved the problem with the Burrell collection roof, given that it has been a problem almost since the day it opened?

Bridget McConnell: There are two reasons. First, we have to make priorities, and I shall come back to that in a moment. We had similar, if not worse, conditions at Kelvingrove and in the Kelvin hall, where the museum of transport was housed and its collections were regularly flooded. When we had to make priority decisions, as long as we were able to fix problems and protect items at the time, that is what we did.

The other reason is that it is dramatically complex. I am not a technician or an architect, so I do not understand the reasons, but I know that we have recently had experts in from Belgium and from all over the world whose view is that the travel of water in the roof is remarkable, and it seems that their solution is to take the roof off and do it again.

The very first thing that I said was about the importance of culture for the city. You know about the process of grant-aided settlement, where there is an assumption about how much an area needs to fund a museums service. In our grant-aided settlement from Government to the city, we get approximately £18 per head of population to spend on museums. The city actually spends, and has been spending, £27 per head, and that has to come from its overall grant and from council tax. It is a double-edged sword; those who are not interested in culture could say that that is not a great thing, and those who are could say that it is. The city’s assessment, with a wide range of views within the council, is that culture and museums are important for the economic and social vitality of the city, not to mention its obligations to those who have left collections to it and to preserve collections for humanity.

I hope that I am answering your question. What I am saying is that we have had to make priorities and that we already spend more money than we could reasonably be expected to spend. The roof at Kelvingrove and the damage to the collections in the basement of the Kelvin hall transport museum were right at the top of the risk assessment.

There is another thing that the city’s audit committee asked me to mention if I had the opportunity. We have a detailed risk programme, and those other museums would have been right at the top in other years. At the moment, the Burrell museum is our number 1 risk. It has come up behind the other ones, but it is the number 1 risk at the moment.

Gordon MacDonald: I understand that there are competing priorities, but £400 million is a substantial sum to invest in museums—

Bridget McConnell: Sorry, but that was for culture, so it includes music and concert halls.

Gordon MacDonald: Okay, but your venue development strategy document, which was produced in July 2001, said that the Burrell collection was “in urgent need of attention.” It continued: “The cost of replacing these roof areas is estimated at £1.75 million.”

When included with upgrade to plant, retail areas and display and exhibition areas, the cost was “likely to be in the region of £4 to £5 million.” That sum was included in the capital investment priorities covering 2001 to 2005 for the year 2004-05, so why did that not go ahead?

Bridget McConnell: Those were the city’s capital priorities, so that sat alongside capital priorities such as building care homes and dealing with schools with leaking roofs and other problems. There was some investment to ensure that the collections were protected as far as possible, but there were competing priorities. Within the capital investment budgets that we are talking about, the city had to make decisions in the context of considering how much to spend on roads, education, social work and culture. The issue was not just priority within the culture budget but priority within the overall capital programme, and that remains the case. The council has a capital programme. As members will imagine, there is a wish list of probably billions of pounds of measures, but the council has to make decisions on what it can afford and what is a priority at the time.

Gordon MacDonald: I understand that there are competing priorities. You say that there is a wish list. The gallery is due to close from 2016 to
2020. The refurbishment is on the wish list, but how much of it is a priority, bearing in mind that previous plans did not come to fruition? How much is it expected to cost to refurbish the gallery during 2016 to 2020 and what will that involve? Is it just a matter of fixing the roof and tidying up the displays, or is it a lot more substantial than that?

Archie Graham: I will talk about the priority issue and then Bridget McConnell can come back in. We have a notional figure of £45 million to do the job properly. We hope that we might be able to persuade the lottery to provide £15 million of that. The council intends to put £15 million into the pot, and we hope to raise the other £15 million through sponsorship and fundraising. We would normally establish a trust, as we did with the Riverside museum and the Kelvingrove museum and art gallery to raise funds.

We are talking about raising a third of the money from the lottery, a third from the council and a third from fundraising. It is clear that we cannot continue with a sticking-plaster approach. Although we have spent £3 million on the building, staff are going around with buckets because of water ingress. In my opinion, the roof is clearly a case of bad design. We need to do the job properly. It is a major priority for the council to invest in and we are committed to providing that
£15 million.

GG.

Posted by: Betsy2009 17th Sep 2013, 08:30pm

I wonder how much was paid to the architect who designed it. Surely he would also be responsible if the building leaked so early after completion? It's also true that if problems are left they will cost more to repair. What is wrong with them??????
When will councils be elected on the grounds of common sense?
Give an old fashioned housewife the budget and you'll see a huge improvement in managing the money.

Posted by: norrie123 17th Sep 2013, 08:43pm

Hi ashfield, my mistake

Bye for now, norrie

Posted by: Rab 17th Sep 2013, 08:45pm

Aye, right, Betsy. Now, would anyone like a nice cup of tea?

Posted by: GG 17th Sep 2013, 08:50pm

QUOTE ('Betsy2009 date='17th Sep 2013, 09:28pm) *
I wonder how much was paid to the architect who designed it. Surely he would also be responsible if the building leaked so early after completion? It's also true that if problems are left they will cost more to repair. What is wrong with them??????
When will councils be elected on the grounds of common sense?
Give an old fashioned housewife the budget and you'll see a huge improvement in managing the money.

Ha-ha, Rab! Not so sure about your last point, Betsy2009: wasn't that what Margaret Thatcher told the country before being elected in 1979? huh.gif

Here's an interesting extract from a Sunday Times article from March 1994 (yes, almost 20 years ago!). The absurdity of the last paragraph obviously was not to bode well for the council in remedying the situation!

QUOTE
An internationally acclaimed collection of sculptures is under threat because of a leaking roof in the £20m building specially designed to house Scotland's most prestigious works of art.

Architects are examining the structure of Glasgow's Burrell Museum hailed as evidence of the city's cultural renaissance when it was opened by the Queen 11 years go after a Rodin sculpture was among a number of treasures damaged by seeping rain.

Urgent tests are being carried out on the piece, Eve After The Fall, to determine whether it has been permanently damaged after water dripped on it, leaving a white residue on the surface and possible corrosion below.

Tapestries and a number of other sculptures are also believed to have been affected. One room has had to be closed to the public.

Three other Rodins, as well as an Epstein and a Ming vase, have had to be covered with white canvas sheets. The source of the leak has proved elusive. Glasgow district council, which runs the museum, has spent thousands of pounds investigating possible causes.

''We have a team of specialists trying to find a solution,'' Chris Purslow, the council's chief architect, said. ''But we have been unable to identify where the problem is.''

Museum chiefs have tried to play down the scale of the damage. But angry staff have complained privately about the inability of the management to resolve the problem, saying the effects of the water will continue to damage important works unless the roof is repaired.

The collection, which includes works by Rembrandt, Manet and Cezanne, was given to the city by Sir William Burrell in 1944. The shipping magnate made his fortune in Victorian times when Glasgow was a trading port of international importance, buying art treasures as he travelled the world.

He made one condition when he left his legacy: that the works of man should be displayed amid the works of nature. It ruled out most buildings in the city, sparking a 39-year search for a suitable location. The collection was finally unpacked and housed in a mansion in the city's Pollok Park.

But nature is proving troublesome because of the building's design. Some experts believe that the choice of a flat stainless steel roof for the building was a mistake, because it is unable to deal with west Scotland's heavy rainfall.

Purslow said that ''the Norwegian design of the roof is unique to the United Kingdom and is built in a number of layers, which seem to drip intermittently. Until we can establish the cause, we can't put a figure on the cost of the remedy''.

As the rain keeps coming through, an urgent appeal has been made to the architect who designed the much-acclaimed building. Council officials have been trying to trace Barry Gasson to discover whether he has any suggestions on what can be done. But they have so far been unable to contact him.

Posted by: GG 17th Sep 2013, 09:09pm

... the next day, the Daily Record had the following colourful headline:

IT'S MINGIN! LEAKY ROOF CAUSES ART ATTACK AT THE BURRELL

Apparently ... a Ming vase was one of the objects at threat from ingress!

GG.

Posted by: Betsy2009 17th Sep 2013, 09:15pm

Aaaaaargh! Stupid, stupid men.
That was obviously the time to bit the bullet and put a new roof on - possible thousands rather than millions. Even a new building then would have been cheaper.
I had a $4.3 million budget to manage 58 buildings. They were a wide range of old victorian buildings right up to modern buildings but, of course, they weren't in the class (?) of the Burrell building.

Maggie had a point - she was just the wrong housewife. I mean a proper one who has had to make savings to survive not one who can't decide between a Rolls and a Bentley.

As for the architect - says it all. They certainly knew how to pick a good one, didn't they?

Posted by: carmella 17th Sep 2013, 11:50pm

Interesting exchanges at the Scottish Parliament, at least they seem to be sitting up and taking notice of what's going on.

My jury is still out on this. Admittedly over the years a lot of money has been spent justifiably on upgrading the museum and art gallery and it would seem to have paid off, it's lovely out there and from the outside Kelvingrove looks so nice, as if it had just been built. I remember when i first saw it after all the work, how beautiful it looked, making me thing what a lovely sight it must have been when it had just been built, because what we see now is as close to its original appearance.

I hope the Scottish Parliament continue to ask questions about the size of the costs involved, and for future reference not to allow this sort of expenditure to take place again - at least not for the reasons given.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 18th Sep 2013, 12:02pm

QUOTE (Talisman @ 16th Sep 2013, 12:41am) *
Please allow me to take you to task here for calling those responsible "IDIOTS". Idiots they are obviously not as they have succeeded where others have failed in robbing Glasgow of it's most prized cultural asset. There is no doubt also in my mind that there will be an element of private augmentation of funds finding their way into the pockets of these "Tribunes of the People".

Over here in Germany you can take court procedings against anyone who calls you an Idiot. It is so serious an insult that if you called a policeman an idiot he could arrest you on the spot ... no question asked.

QUOTE
Etymology
Look up idiot in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

...which is exactly what I did tongue.gif
QUOTE
Idiot as a word derived from the Greek ἰδιώτης, idiōtēs ("person lacking professional skill", "a private citizen", "individual"), from ἴδιος, idios ("private", "one's own").[1] In Latin the word idiota ("ordinary person, layman") preceded the Late Latin meaning "uneducated or ignorant person".[2] Its modern meaning and form dates back to Middle English around the year 1300, from the Old French idiote ("uneducated or ignorant person"). The related word idiocy dates to 1487 and may have been analogously modeled on the words prophet[3] and prophecy.[4][5] The word has cognates in many other languages.

QUOTE
An idiot in Athenian democracy was someone who was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private—as opposed to public—affairs.
[6] Idiocy was the natural state of ignorance into which all persons were born and its opposite, citizenship, was effected through formalized education.[6] In Athenian democracy, idiots were born and citizens were made through education (although citizenship was also largely hereditary). "Idiot" originally referred to "layman, person lacking professional skill", "person so mentally deficient as to be incapable of ordinary reasoning" Declining to take part in public life, such as democratic government of the polis (city state) was considered dishonorable.
QUOTE
"Idiots" were seen as having bad judgment in public and political matters.
Over time, the term "idiot" shifted away from its original connotation of selfishness and came to refer to individuals with overall bad judgment–individuals who are "stupid". According to the Bauer-Danker Lexicon, the noun ίδιωτής in ancient Greek meant "civilian" (ref Josephus Bell 2 178), "private citizen" (ref sb 3924 9 25), "private soldier as opposed to officer," (Polybius 1.69), "relatively unskilled, not clever," (Herodotus 2,81 and 7 199).[7] The military connotation in Bauer's definition stems from the fact that ancient Greek armies in the time of total war mobilized all male citizens (to the age of 50) to fight, and many of these citizens tended to fight poorly and ignorantly.

In modern English usage, the terms "idiot" and "idiocy" describe an extreme folly or stupidity, and its symptoms (foolish or stupid utterance or deed).
QUOTE
In psychology, it is a historical term for the state or condition now called profound mental retardation
.[8]

Which all goes to prove that those responsible for this fiasco really are idiots in the full meaning of the word. biggrin.gif

Posted by: Betsy2009 18th Sep 2013, 12:08pm

Then you can't be sued/arrested for telling the truth.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 18th Sep 2013, 12:24pm

Well ... not outside of Germany anyway. rolleyes.gif

Posted by: Jupiter 18th Sep 2013, 12:41pm

A possible solution could be the erection of a dome a la O2 in London which would entirely encompass the entire Burrell Complex.

Posted by: ashfield 18th Sep 2013, 02:42pm

..........or the City Chambers rolleyes.gif

Posted by: wee davy 18th Sep 2013, 03:11pm

Surely one of his descendants can get an injunction on these people?

Posted by: Black John 18th Sep 2013, 08:49pm

How can there be talk about it when its clear that a man gave his lifes work to city that is now betraying his wishes with weasel words and politicians who could not lace the mans boots.

You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Pity he did not give his works to Edinburgh. At least we would have know how to treat it with respect.

Posted by: vascot 18th Sep 2013, 11:10pm

I visited the Burrell Collection a few years ago and thought it was awesome. Hope to visit it again the next time I come home (I live in US). Not abiding by Sir William's wishes may deter future donations to Glasgow and Scotland.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 19th Sep 2013, 06:14am

Hi Vascot, nice to see you posting after so long tongue.gif
Pity it had to be after Black John's Tale of Two Cities though.
I wonder if there is a strong point made there. Would the councillors in any other Scottish city be seen to stoop so low?

Posted by: GG 19th Sep 2013, 06:33am

QUOTE (wee davy @ 18th Sep 2013, 04:09pm) *
Surely one of his descendants can get an injunction on these people?

Wee Davy, I have not yet heard of any intervention by the family as yet. As far as I know, there are no direct descendants, as Sir William had only one child, Marion, who never married and had no children. Here's a bit of background on the man and his family, taken from a http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/secret-history-of-art-collector-william-burrell-to-be-revealed.21116454:

QUOTE
Sir William was a withdrawn person and didn't want to be in the public eye he wanted the collection to be ad-mired, but he didn't really want to be admired himself.

Burrell was very unpretentious. He never tried to be anything other than an ordinary Glasgow businessman, albeit an unusually successful one.

Born in Glasgow in 1861, Sir William Burrell was the third of nine children. His family ran a shipping business, the industry in which he later made his fortune.

He bought his first painting for a few shillings in an auction as a 14-year-old, his father saying the money would have been better spent on a cricket bat.

Burrell had a canny knack for buying work early on before prices became too prohibitive, not least oil paintings by American artist James McNeill Whistler.

Over the years his collection grew to include rare and precious objects, including the matrimonial bed-head of King Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves.

He married Constance Mitchell, the daughter of another ship owner, in 1902. They had only one child, Marion.

In 1944, he donated his entire 9000-strong collection to the City of Glasgow with £250,000 to house it. The conditions included a request that it be displayed in a rural setting. A custom-build museum, the Burrell Collection, was finally opened in Pollok Country Park in 1983.

Burrell died at Hutton Castle in the Scottish Borders in 1958, aged 96.

GG.

Posted by: GG 19th Sep 2013, 06:37am

QUOTE (TeeHeeHee @ 19th Sep 2013, 07:12am) *
Hi Vascot, nice to see you posting after so long tongue.gif
Pity it had to be after Black John's Tale of Two Cities though.
I wonder if there is a strong point made there. Would the councillors in any other Scottish city be seen to stoop so low?

THH, I'm sorry to say that the decision-making of Glasgow Life is largely out of the hands of city councillors. This transfer of power – from elected members to unelected (privileged) officials – was a direct consequence of the actions of Stephen Purcell, former Labour leader of Glasgow City Council, when he set up the city's new quangos.


GG.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 19th Sep 2013, 02:40pm

I see your point GG ... unfortunately I couldn't see your Video as it contained Music from SME and the Germans haven't paid for the rights to transmit it.
Happens a lot here.

This Glasgow Life Quango could spell danger for the Burrell Collection then, if the power of the councillors is diluted.
Purcell has a lot to answer for. Among other things he has practically given away property of the citzens of Glasgow.
Can we have our ball back, mister?

Posted by: kenb 19th Sep 2013, 02:50pm

hi gg do you know if any petiton or say open rebelion is in effect or to be started ref this fabulous collection
i want to be part of it kenb

Posted by: Dimairt 19th Sep 2013, 06:08pm

QUOTE (Betsy2009 @ 17th Sep 2013, 09:28pm) *
I wonder how much was paid to the architect who designed it. Surely he would also be responsible if the building leaked so early after completion? It's also true that if problems are left they will cost more to repair. What is wrong with them??????
When will councils be elected on the grounds of common sense?
Give an old fashioned housewife the budget and you'll see a huge improvement in managing the money.

Like Margaret Thatcher?

Durachdan,

Eddy

Posted by: GG 19th Sep 2013, 11:44pm

QUOTE (kenb @ 19th Sep 2013, 03:48pm) *
hi gg do you know if any petiton or say open rebelion is in effect or to be started ref this fabulous collection
i want to be part of it kenb

I'm not sure of any, kenb. Will look around and let you know. It's not as yet gathered the same momentum as the Save Pollok Park or Save george Square rebellions.

GG.

Posted by: pianoplayer 20th Sep 2013, 06:33am

The history of Glasgow seems to be composed of people doing what they think is best for us and repeatedly failing.

Posted by: Scotsman 20th Sep 2013, 10:54am

Its a good point pianoplayer but I do wonder if the council thinks they are really doing the best for us with the Burrell legacy. I know everything is not simple and black and white but something does seem to be wrong here. Why has this not been put the people to decide.... can anyone answer that question??

Posted by: CAT 20th Sep 2013, 02:24pm

Not surprised!! GCC at its best.

Posted by: RussT 20th Sep 2013, 02:55pm

It seems that the director of the British Museum, Neil McGregor, has backed Glasgow's bid to change the rules governing the control of the Burrell Collection (The Herald - 20/09/13).

Could it be that Glasgow Life is not so far off the mark with its plans to refurbish the building which houses the collection and during the period of its closure allow the collection to be seen abroad?

Posted by: Doreen 20th Sep 2013, 05:55pm

The collection was in storage for many years before Burrell was built. Maybe if they had done a better job of the building in the first place then it would not have to close down for years?

Maybe I'm just a bit old-fashioned, but I tend to place a high premium on honesty and moral integrity. Accepting an extremely generous bequest, knowing full well that there are conditions attached, and then seeking to flout the conditions to make money is extremely dishonest and lacking integrity in my view. If you hold the same values as the people making these decision then that's up to you.

Posted by: Rab 20th Sep 2013, 09:26pm

QUOTE (Doreen @ 20th Sep 2013, 06:53pm) *
The collection was in storage for many years before Burrell was built. Maybe if they had done a better job of the building in the first place then it would not have to close down for years?

Maybe I'm just a bit old-fashioned, but I tend to place a high premium on honesty and moral integrity. Accepting an extremely generous bequest, knowing full well that there are conditions attached, and then seeking to flout the conditions to make money is extremely dishonest and lacking integrity in my view. If you hold the same values as the people making these decision then that's up to you.


thumbup.gif

Posted by: GG 21st Sep 2013, 09:22pm

QUOTE (RussT @ 20th Sep 2013, 03:53pm) *
It seems that the director of the British Museum, Neil McGregor, has backed Glasgow's bid to change the rules governing the control of the Burrell Collection (The Herald - 20/09/13).

Could it be that Glasgow Life is not so far off the mark with its plans to refurbish the building which houses the collection and during the period of its closure allow the collection to be seen abroad?

RussT, I'm afraid that your argument is based on a false premise: that a 30-year-old building needs to close for 4-5 years to be refurbished at a cost which is double the price of the original build, i.e. £45 million. Just over a year ago the Herald told us that all that was required to repair the building was £70,000 to, as a spokesman for Glasgow Life put it, "preserve an architectural beauty and some of the treasures it is home to." All of a sudden we are told that £45 million is required! Just how stupid are we supposed to be? rolleyes.gif

QUOTE
Work costing £70,000 will begin this month to repair the leaking roof of one of Glasgow s most prestigious art galleries.

The roof of the Burrell Collection, in Pollok Country Park, has been affected by leaks for more than a decade and, on occasions, staff have been forced to put down buckets to catch the drips.
In 1999, the city council promised the roof would be replaced within five years at an estimated cost of £2 million, but the work was never carried out.

Now work will soon begin on repairs that will be carried out over 12 weeks weather permitting.

The gallery will remain open, but some objects may be moved.

I want to come back to the latest Herald article tomorrow. IMO, it's an example of disgracefully irresponsible reporting – and that's giving it the benefit of doubt!

GG.

Posted by: GG 21st Sep 2013, 09:39pm

QUOTE (Doreen @ 20th Sep 2013, 06:53pm) *
The collection was in storage for many years before Burrell was built. Maybe if they had done a better job of the building in the first place then it would not have to close down for years?

Maybe I'm just a bit old-fashioned, but I tend to place a high premium on honesty and moral integrity. Accepting an extremely generous bequest, knowing full well that there are conditions attached, and then seeking to flout the conditions to make money is extremely dishonest and lacking integrity in my view. If you hold the same values as the people making these decision then that's up to you.

Doreen, Dr Selby Whittingham would certainly agree with your sentiments.

QUOTE
Written evidence from Donor watch to the Scottish Parliament

I would like to register our opposition to the proposed Bill. I have followed the Burrell dispute and the hearing which the House of Lords Commission held. (I have long expressed the objection that the evidence to that has never been published, as happened in the case of such enquiries in the past, so denying the public and academics who have a serious interest in the questions raised easy access to the interesting evidence provided at considerable public expense).

I know that the Trustees of Sir William Burrell have abandoned their opposition and can understand their pragmatic reasons. I also am well aware of the reasons for disregarding Burrell's wishes advanced by Julian Spalding and other curators. However fidelity to donors' wishes is a precious matter. Regrettably it is far too often dishonoured, not least in Scotland, from where we have had sundry complaints about breaches of faith in the past, often disguised by equivocations and falsehoods. Sir William Burrell was aware of the prevalent cynicism in this matter, and grounds for that have not diminished since.

There can be a case for departing from the terms of a bequest when those are incapable of being carried out wholly or safely and for applying a cy-pres modification, as has been argued (whether justifiably or not) in such cases as the Barnes Foundation. But that does not apply in the Burrell case in this instance. This Bill is simply a consequence of the current vogue for loan exhibitions and for using outward loans as barter for inward loans. This vogue is not wholly benign. It deprives visitors to a museum of works which they may expect to see. And we are not convinced that the transport of works of art is as free from hazard as the advocates of this measure optimistically maintain.

It is stated that the Burrell is a heterogeneous collection, and so the loan of works from it is not as detrimental as in the case of collections that have greater unity. However different parts - mediaeval etc. - have their own unities. It has been the argument of public art galleries that they need to acquire works to fill gaps. Yet the present vogue for lending is to create gaps all the time, a fundamental contradiction which museum directors sidestep.

We feel that the members of the Committee who say that they believe that the terms on which gifts are accepted should be honoured should ask themselves what they mean by that. What would make them refuse an application such as the one over the Burrell Collection? Or is it not the case that there are always specious arguments for treating a donor's conditions as a dead letter and that no donor can have trust in the treatment of their wishes by governments?

They might care to read my article in the International Journal of Cultural Property, Vol.4, No.2., 1995, pages 255-309, "Breach of Trust Over Gifts of Collections."

Consideration should also be given to the case of Sir John Soane's Museum. In 1862 the Sir John Soane Museum's Bill was passed solely to allow paintings from it to be lent to the International Exhibition of that year. It was not to allow loans at a subsequent date. However the museum in 1971 (?) made a "never-to-be-repeated loan" of two Hogarths to the Hogarth Exhibition at the Tate Gallery. Legal opinion was obtained that Sir John Soane meant only to ban sale, not loan. Unfortunately such opinions have never been tested in a court of law.

I realise that it is argued that Sir William Burrell's conditions have already been broken by the siting of the museum, and so it is no great thing to break another. To accept that is to abandon any pretence that a donor's conditions are treated seriously. Perhaps the "thin end of the wedge" argument is not always a compelling one, but it has proved to be an accurate prediction of future behaviour in cases such as the treatment of the Chantrey Gift to the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, and the result of that has been the partial destruction of the works and the present fragmentary and nonsensical display.

Dr Selby Whittingham
Secretary-General
Donor Watch

GG.

Posted by: Scotsman 22nd Sep 2013, 09:44am

Well said Selby!!\when you get right down to it its a matter of honour for the city. Those in charge know fine well that Sir William Burrell wanted the collection to stay where it is. Pollok Park is a lovely setting for such a collection and thats where it should stay so that the people of Glasgow can enjoy it in a peaceful and quiet setting. If those in charge cant look after it then its them who should be shipped off overseas.... just look at the mess they have already made of the Kelvingrove and the Transport Museum.

Posted by: Betsy2009 22nd Sep 2013, 10:19am

If anyone else is thinking of donating something to Glasgow this will probably make them think twice about it. Goodness knows what we might loose out on.

Loosing parts of the collection could end up in an Elgin Marbles situation. Well, we've got it and you ain't getting it back!

Posted by: GovanBhoy 22nd Sep 2013, 04:30pm

Like others I too am wondering whether this process is legal. If somebody benefits from the conditions of a contract and then alters those conditions to suit their own wishes then can't the contract be ended? I realise that it may be more complex than this, but the question is are the Burrell family able to take action to recover the collection, or can another city that could have benefited from the donation now make their case?

Posted by: GG 22nd Sep 2013, 11:04pm

I thought I would post the basic country-specific statistics related to the poll in this topic. Glasgow Guide forum polls employ the latest online polling authentication and security features, and are handled by an external provider over which GG (me) has no control. The basic country breakdown of this poll is given below:


According to Bridget McConnell, Glasgow Life chief executive, the online poll conducted by that company showed that "69% of respondents were in favour of the proposals", although that figure was subsequently revised down to 56% by a member of the company's external legal team. Either way, it's a long way off our 4%, which is likely to have included a more diverse and numerous audience.


GG.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 23rd Sep 2013, 01:07pm

QUOTE (GG @ 22nd Sep 2013, 11:02pm) *
... According to Bridget McConnell, Glasgow Life chief executive, the online poll conducted by that company showed that "69% of respondents were in favour of the proposals" ...
GG.

Maybe she just got her eyes and nose mixed up ... sorry I meant her "Ayes" and "Naws" laugh.gif

Her 69% in favour equalled the 69% against on this poll which leads to the question:
Were those polled online by Glasgow Life, perhaps potential recipients of various parts of the collection during the Roof Restoration period of 5 years?

Posted by: Betsy2009 23rd Sep 2013, 02:14pm

Now there's a true cynic!!!

Posted by: Scotsman 23rd Sep 2013, 03:04pm

When I click the Result button I see that its 96% of people who said no.... am I seeing it different from everyone else?? eyebrow.gif

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 23rd Sep 2013, 03:53pm

QUOTE (Scotsman @ 23rd Sep 2013, 04:02pm) *
When I click the Result button I see that its 96% of people who said no.... am I seeing it different from everyone else?? eyebrow.gif

Beg your pardon, Scotsman. I always get it mixed up wi' the German ... 96 is sechs-und-neunzig; which my addled brain interprets back into English as Sechsty-neun laugh.gif

Posted by: Scotsman 23rd Sep 2013, 04:14pm

Ha!! Well your German is better than mine I can say that. wink.gif As for....

QUOTE
Were those polled online by Glasgow Life, perhaps potential recipients of various parts of the collection during the Roof Restoration period of 5 years?

Where else could they possibly find more than half of the people in favour of Glasgow losing out on the jewel in the crown of its culture. Think of all the people who go there regularly and are going to be shut out for 5 years. And what about tourism in Glasgow.... surely its going to get hit as well. Does not make sense to give this up. wacko.gif

"Aye just take whit ye want and leave us the scraps!!" said the clueless Glasgow museum man to the fat American with the big wallet.

Posted by: NorrieT 24th Sep 2013, 01:45am

I'd be interested to know what people think about this point. What if the collection is moved from the Pollok Park and never comes back there? They could put some of the works there as there from the ones in storage but what if the best items stay on tour or are shifted into a new location in the city centre which is where the council wants everything to be?

Posted by: carmella 24th Sep 2013, 04:25am

QUOTE (GG @ 23rd Sep 2013, 12:02am) *
I thought I would post the basic country-specific statistics related to the poll in this topic. Glasgow Guide forum polls employ the latest online polling authentication and security features, and are handled by an external provider over which GG (me) has no control. The basic country breakdown of this poll is given below:


According to Bridget McConnell, Glasgow Life chief executive, the online poll conducted by that company showed that "69% of respondents were in favour of the proposals", although that figure was subsequently revised down to 56% by a member of the company's external legal team. Either way, it's a long way off our 4%, which is likely to have included a more diverse and numerous audience.

GG

When I saw this, all it tells me is that it has absolutely nothing to do with these countries - Glasgow is the only country I believe should have a say! It also tells me, if you look right down the poll - these countries don't give a damn about our Burrell Collection - and why should they!!!

Posted by: GG 24th Sep 2013, 06:57am

Hi Carmella,

Thanks, I absolutely agree with you that Glasgow (and Glaswegians) are the only ones who should have a say in deciding this very, very important matter to the city of Glasgow. The range of countries given probably shows where our Glaswegian expats on the board are located ... Sir William gifted this amazing collection to us all .... and I am pleased to give Glaswegian expats a say. Personally, and opinion may differ here, I believe that all Glaswegians – whether at home or abroad – have an innate right to have a meaningful and decisive say on the future of the Burrell Collection. Right now, that future is being decided in a plush committee room in Edinburgh by a select group of people who are not Glaswegians, and most of whom are from the very upper reaches of class and privilege in Scotland and England. It is shameful, absolutely shameful, that this is happening, and our media is fully and completely complicit in this monumental act of grand larceny from a city's people.

GG.

Posted by: JAGZ1876 24th Sep 2013, 08:12am

Of course this isn't the only GG poll that gives a closer representation of public opinion, so i suppose it's figures will be rubbished and ignored as well.

Any chance of the person who voted in the unknown A1 country could post in and tell us just exactly where in the World they are?

Posted by: john.mcn 24th Sep 2013, 08:18am

QUOTE (JAGZ1876 @ 24th Sep 2013, 08:10am) *
Any chance of the person who voted in the unknown A1 country could post in and tell us just exactly where in the World they are?


Well the only country i can think of that doesn't 'exist' is... er Scotland wink.gif

Posted by: JAGZ1876 24th Sep 2013, 10:49am

Or even England tongue.gif

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 24th Sep 2013, 11:44am

Well I'm obviously the 0.25% who's third from the bottom; bad place to be at anytime rolleyes.gif ... so it's no' me from A1 ... although Germany seems to be Europe's A1 nowadays. tongue.gif
I heartily agree with GG's comment though which refers to posh neighbours being in a position to give away our own family silver.
There must be a way that this can be nipped in the bud.

Posted by: Guest 24th Sep 2013, 01:04pm

"... from the very upper reaches of class and privilege in Scotland and England".

Could Sir William Burrell have been described thus?


Posted by: GG 24th Sep 2013, 10:43pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 24th Sep 2013, 02:02pm) *
"... from the very upper reaches of class and privilege in Scotland and England".

Could Sir William Burrell have been described thus?

He was in his later life, although, he was born in a tenement. What distinguishes Sir William Burrell from the privileged Sirs and Lords of today – those who are intent on deceiving his dying wishes and betraying his cherished legacy – is that Sir William was an entrepreneur and an innovator who created and built wealth for himself, and he gave something back to the city. And, of course, unlike most of those trying to steal his life's work, he was born in Glasgow!

GG,

Posted by: Betsy2009 24th Sep 2013, 11:53pm

We could always sneak in and steal the removal vans and hide the collection all over Glasgow. Get the building sorted out pronto or else?

Posted by: Douglas 25th Sep 2013, 01:00am

I imagine that the £45m will be used to degrade the Burrell Museum in much the same way that the council did to the Kelvingrove Museum. Dumbned down and geared towards children running about and interacting with multimedia displays that usually broke within the first week. An no doubt their idea of expanding the space is to stack stuff up on the walls and hang things from the ceiling. We've been there twice already. How many times before the people of Glasgow realise that this is all just smoke and mirrors and the end result will be worse than what we've already got?

Posted by: Guest 25th Sep 2013, 06:59am

"– those who are intent on deceiving his dying wishes and betraying his cherished legacy –"

These are emotive words and no doubt sincere. I would, however, bring to your attention and that of your readers, that Burrell's gift to the city with its attendant conditions was made in 1944. Since Sir William's death was not until 1958 these conditions can hardly be described as his "dying wishes".

I would suggest that since we cherish the legacy so much we should be striving to do what is best for the collection. Surely refurbishing and expanding the building in which the collection is presently housed is better for the collection than leaving the building in its present condition? I think it is worth remembering that the exhibition space available in the present building has never been suffiicient to show the collection in its entirety and at any one time only part of the collection can be displayed.

Perhaps we should also bear in mind that there is a significant body of informed opinion in Scotland and elsewhere which believes that touring the collection abroad would raise the profile of the collection not only to the Burrell collection's advantage but to the advantage of the arts in Scotland in general.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 25th Sep 2013, 09:41pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 25th Sep 2013, 06:57am) *
... Perhaps we should also bear in mind that there is a significant body of informed opinion in Scotland and elsewhere which believes that touring the collection abroad would raise the profile of the collection not only to the Burrell collection's advantage but to the advantage of the arts in Scotland in general.

Was it absolutely necessary to tour Dali's "Christ of St John of the Cross" abroad to raise the profile of the work while serving to the advantage of Dali, in general?


Posted by: GG 25th Sep 2013, 10:28pm

Good point, THH. One of the tenuous arguments put forward by those experts who advocate loaning out the city's premier art works is that it will gain wider recognition of Glasgow's treasures and lead to increased visitor numbers to museums. Let's take the Dali/Kelvingrove experience:

2009: Dali's St John in Kelvingrove all year. Visitors: 1,368,096

2010: St John in Glasgow 6 months, rest in US: Visitors: 1,070,521

So, we'd expect a rush of visitors to the Kelvingrove in 2011 ...

2011: Dali's St John in Kelvingrove all year. Visitors: 981,061

So much for the 'loan dividend'. ohmy.gif

GG.

Posted by: GG 25th Sep 2013, 10:42pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 25th Sep 2013, 07:57am) *
"– those who are intent on deceiving his dying wishes and betraying his cherished legacy –"

These are emotive words and no doubt sincere. I would, however, bring to your attention and that of your readers, that Burrell's gift to the city with its attendant conditions was made in 1944. Since Sir William's death was not until 1958 these conditions can hardly be described as his "dying wishes". [...]

Thanks for your comments, Guest. I'd like to get reply to these tomorrow (Thursday) ... just no time tonight!

GG.

Posted by: carmella 26th Sep 2013, 12:05am

I agree with GG and some of the other contributors to this discussion as we all have something positive and useful to add.

Since Sir William is not here to vent his opinions or anger, as I truly suspect the latter would be his position.

As has been said, he gave back a lot to the city, given that he was in a financial position at his time of the century to travel the world, he knew that most people in Glasgow and surrounding areas would never be able to see some of the wonders he collected and witnessed. Therefore, I honestly believe he gifted his massive collection for all the people (in the first instance) who lived in Glasgow to see these wonderful things. I applaud him and his memory.

After all, when we all make our Wills, we do so in the near certainty that our wishes will be carried out, he would have been no different.

I think the whole business is so sad.

Posted by: Guest 26th Sep 2013, 08:19am

To THH

"- Was it absolutely necessary to tour Dali's "Christ of St John of the Cross" abroad to raise the profile of the work while serving to the advantage of Dali, in general? -"

No, of course not. Was it absolutely necessary for Dr Tom Honeyman to buy the Dali for £8200 in 1952?

To GG

"- One of the tenuous arguments put forward by those experts who advocate loaning out the city's premier art works is that it will gain wider recognition of Glasgow's treasures and lead to increased visitor numbers to museums. -"

I do not claim to be an expert in these matters but I would contend that increased visitor numbers to a museum is not necessarily the only way to measure how well recognised is a collection or a particular piece.

To Carmella

"- Therefore, I honestly believe he gifted his massive collection for all the people (in the first instance) who lived in Glasgow to see these wonderful things. -"

I believe that Sir William Burrell wanted his collection to become his memorial and as such I believe that he would have wanted it to be available to the widest possible audience, consistent, of course, with the collection's safety and security. Allowing parts of the collection to be shown abroad will ensure that wider audience.

Posted by: Scotsman 26th Sep 2013, 04:35pm

I will answer for Carmella who I am sure will not mind. Its actually simple.... if Sir William Burrell wanted to get his collection to the widest possible audience then he would have gave the collection to London.... no ifs or buts about it. In actual fact he wanted to make sure the collection stayed as a collection and thats why he would only give it to Glasgow because the politicians here promised not to split the collection up.

Why is that so difficult for these people to understand??

Posted by: Guest 26th Sep 2013, 05:59pm

"- if Sir William Burrell wanted to get his collection to the widest possible audience then he would have gave the collection to London.... no ifs or buts about it.-"

Sorry, Scotsman, I disagree.

Posted by: GG 26th Sep 2013, 09:00pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 25th Sep 2013, 07:57am) *
"– those who are intent on deceiving his dying wishes and betraying his cherished legacy –"

These are emotive words and no doubt sincere. I would, however, bring to your attention and that of your readers, that Burrell's gift to the city with its attendant conditions was made in 1944. Since Sir William's death was not until 1958 these conditions can hardly be described as his "dying wishes".

I would suggest that since we cherish the legacy so much we should be striving to do what is best for the collection. Surely refurbishing and expanding the building in which the collection is presently housed is better for the collection than leaving the building in its present condition? I think it is worth remembering that the exhibition space available in the present building has never been suffiicient to show the collection in its entirety and at any one time only part of the collection can be displayed.

Perhaps we should also bear in mind that there is a significant body of informed opinion in Scotland and elsewhere which believes that touring the collection abroad would raise the profile of the collection not only to the Burrell collection's advantage but to the advantage of the arts in Scotland in general.

Thanks you for your reply, Guest.

As an important point of fact, Sir William updated his 1944 will with a codicil in 1953, in which he reiterated and reinforced his clear and unambiguous wishes that his collection should not be broken up by sending artefacts abroad. As I have mentioned previously, the codicil followed his discovery that two paintings had been sent to a gallery in Switzerland. Sir William was livid that the conditions of his will had been broken and he wrote a very angry letter to the council (corporation) which clearly restated that items were not to be sent overseas.

Contrary to what Glasgow Life bosses would have the Scottish Parliament believe, Sir William's overriding concern was not that he did not want items sent overseas because he feared that they would be at risk during transportation; rather, Sir William's overriding concern was that the collection was kept intact as a meaningful collection. The collection was the man's life work. The collection – in its entirety – told the story of the development of human civilisation: from ancient Egypt and China through to the works of the French Impressionists and the Glasgow Boys. The collection was to be his legacy, because it represented his own unique view of human history, and he wanted people to understand that. The collection was how he would live on after he died, and to this end he tried to ensure that the collection would remain intact long after he was gone.

When I referred to "his dying wishes", I did not necessarily mean it literally: that he dictated his wishes on his deathbed. He was a man of outstanding vision and foresight, so he made sure his wishes were recorded years in advance. But I would in fact hypothesise that the words in his will and codicil did represent literally "his dying wishes", and as he lay on his deathbed and reflected on his life, he must surely have gained great comfort from how his collection would inspire future generations to learn to better understand their world.

In a word, it all comes down to integrity. The enduring integrity of the collection; and the moral integrity of those in power to ensure that a man who gifted so much to Glasgow is remembered as they promised him he would be.

GG.

Posted by: carmella 26th Sep 2013, 09:42pm

QUOTE (Scotsman @ 26th Sep 2013, 05:33pm) *
I will answer for Carmella who I am sure will not mind. Its actually simple.... if Sir William Burrell wanted to get his collection to the widest possible audience then he would have gave the collection to London.... no ifs or buts about it. In actual fact he wanted to make sure the collection stayed as a collection and thats why he would only give it to Glasgow because the politicians here promised not to split the collection up.

Why is that so difficult for these people to understand??

You are absolutely correct. At the time of his death, there is no doubt that London was more widely visited than Scotland, in particular Glasgow. If his intention had been for the wider masses - then London or New York would have been uppermost in his wishes - we know, however, that this was not the case.

GG has summed it up pretty well I think.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 26th Sep 2013, 10:04pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 26th Sep 2013, 08:17am) *
To THH

"- Was it absolutely necessary to tour Dali's "Christ of St John of the Cross" abroad to raise the profile of the work while serving to the advantage of Dali, in general? -"

No, of course not.

Was it absolutely necessary for Dr Tom Honeyman to buy the Dali for £8200 in 1952?

Absolutely.

Taking inflation into account that the money spent then; GBP8200, now has (at 2012) an equivalent value of GBP199,864.00, so just short of 200,000 pounds and that set against the value placed on the work today ... Dr Tom Honeyman was not only a person who new a masterpiece when he saw one but was also a shrewd business man it would seem. wink.gif

The quote below is borrowed from The Salvador Dali Society
QUOTE
‘Christ of St. John of the Cross’ may be Dali’s Most ‘Heart-Stopping’ Work!

13 Jul 2011

Posted by: PaulChimera

Christ of St. John of the Cross may be the most beautiful, the most breathtaking painting not only from the studio of Salvador Dali, but in all of 20th century art.

It’s that stunning, that iconic, that heart-stopping ...

The city fathers (of Glasgow) originally balked at acquiring it, because, they complained, the price tag seemed outrageous and irresponsible at the time ...

Today, Dali’s Christ of St. John of the Cross has been voted Scotland’s favorite painting, and a year or so ago its monetary value was set at, as I recall, some $80 million. I’d put it higher than that. Of course, its aesthetic value is immeasurable. Not to mention its value in making Glasgow a tourist attraction for art lovers the world over.

Posted by: NorrieT 27th Sep 2013, 08:13am

I wrote this before but it got kind of lost in the discussion:

QUOTE
I'd be interested to know what people think about this point. What if the collection is moved from the Pollok Park and never comes back there? They could put some of the works there as there from the ones in storage but what if the best items stay on tour or are shifted into a new location in the city centre which is where the council wants everything to be?

Any one any thoughts on if this could happen?

Posted by: Scotsman 27th Sep 2013, 08:53am

QUOTE (Guest @ 26th Sep 2013, 06:57pm) *
"- if Sir William Burrell wanted to get his collection to the widest possible audience then he would have gave the collection to London.... no ifs or buts about it.-"

Sorry, Scotsman, I disagree.

Its all very well saying that you disagree guest but why do you disagree and wheres your evidence.... like GG says is it possible that the council is just using that as an excuse to tout the collection anyone who will pay big money for it??

As I think I have said before where are our politicians in this sad affair and what are they doing about it??

Posted by: GG 28th Sep 2013, 12:30pm

One of the more desperate excuses that Glasgow Life bosses give for wanting to break up and 'revamp' the Burrell Collection is that they claim visitor numbers are low. However, below is perhaps indicative of a reason why the visitor numbers might be lower than wished for. Browsing Google+, I noticed the latest review of the Burrell from a concerned visitor from Lithuania a couple of weeks ago:

QUOTE
Jurate Kirdeikiene
We went there [the Burrell Collection] on 14/09/2013 and the man that was standing at the door said we have to pay 6.50 pounds each. So, is it free or not? We never payed, we left.

GG.


 

Posted by: Guest 28th Sep 2013, 01:01pm

Your Lithuanian friend was probably trying to gain admission to Pollok House where the admission price is £6:50.

Posted by: GG 2nd Oct 2013, 06:28am

QUOTE (RussT @ 20th Sep 2013, 03:53pm) *
It seems that the director of the British Museum, Neil McGregor, has backed Glasgow's bid to change the rules governing the control of the Burrell Collection (The Herald - 20/09/13).

Could it be that Glasgow Life is not so far off the mark with its plans to refurbish the building which houses the collection and during the period of its closure allow the collection to be seen abroad?

Hi RussT, I'd said that I wanted to come back to this Herald story again, simply because the newspaper failed to report (fairly) that the director of the British Museum, Neil McGregor, is, according to Glasgow Life itself:

QUOTE
... a Special Advisor to Burrell Renaissance, providing guidance and support [to Glasgow Life] with both the redisplay of the Burrell Collection and international touring.

Hardly an impartial source! Anyway, back when the Herald was a Scottish-owned newspaper in 1997, with journalists who followed the story wherever it would lead, here's what its sources had to say about Glasgow's then museums' director Julian Spalding trying to break Sir William's Deed of Trust with the people of Glasgow:

Timothy Clifford, director, National Galleries of Scotland:
QUOTE
"If you start tampering, where do you stop? Glasgow Council accepted the Burrell gift on that basis. If the Council breaks the deed of gift, they should give the Burrell collection to someone else. Through fulfilling the conditions of Vaughan's Turner bequest to the letter (they can only be shown in January to avoid fading), Helen Barlow gave us her great collection of English watercolours which transformed our collection. She had no connection with Scotland but expressly said she admired our scrupulous behaviour. By his wilful behaviour Julian Spalding is undermining the position of every museum in the country."

Sir Denis Mahon, ex-trustee of London's National Gallery:
QUOTE
"I myself don't agree with never lending but that's my own view. However, I am absolutely against altering anyone's wishes. It won't do. It must be opposed. It would set a terrible precedent and discourage people like myself from giving."

Rosalind Savill, director, Wallace Collection:
QUOTE
"In 1992, we took legal advice about our deed of trust which doesn't allow any loans. The trustees decided we should honour the bequest. It's sad that when ever penny counts, Glasgow council should spend money on lawyers."

Edward Lucie-Smith, art historian and critic:
QUOTE
"a) There is an increasing resistance to loans from major museums around the world. For instance, Chicago will never lend its famous Seurat painting again, and our National Gallery has deemed some pictures too vulnerable to lend. The age of the blockbuster exhibition is coming to an end. It seems odd that Glasgow is trying to get into this scene when everyone else is getting out of it.

b) If you tinker with the wishes of the dead, you can't expect people to leave you anything.

c) Spalding says he needs items to bargain with, but loans are not a prerequisite for good shows. Institutions like the Royal Academy with nothing to lend nevertheless mount important exhibitions. The Burrell ought not to be tinkered with."

Trevor Clark, barrister, former chairman of Scottish Museums Council, ex -trustee of National Museums of Scotland:
QUOTE
"The principals of Burrell's will are quite clear, and I see no good reason why they should be interfered with.

The interest of the Burrell collection lies in its being put together by one man. It has a small number of items of great international importance, a large amount of middle of the road exhibits and some stuff of no consequence, but it displays his taste - one man's choice - and should be seen as an entity.

The will should not be meddled with. Any change can only say to future donors: 'Don't do it.' I am distressed that politics have crept into this affair. I just hope the parliamentary committee are people of principal, and that the law officers look at the will closely and don't let changes through on a political nod."

Michael Bowman, legacies director, National Trust:
QUOTE
"The National Trust is absolutely scrupulous about following the wishes of a donor. There has never been a case when we have gone against a donor's express wishes. That's our position."

Duncan Cameron, National Trust for Scotland:
QUOTE
"We have little option but to stick to the terms of a will or we'd lose credibility. The onus is on us to abide by a donor's wishes. We have never deviated so far."

Dr Hans Ackermann, director of the Abegg Collection, Bern, Switzerland:
QUOTE
"Our Foundation has a strict interdict on any lending of our collection to other institutions and this has in no way harmed the scientific exchange with other scholars. Furthermore our regular visitors know which works of art they are going to see; they don't have to expect that some of their favourites are lent to another place. We also regard the risks encountered by works travelling around as lying beyond our feeling of responsibility for them."

Douglas Hall, ex-director National Gallery of Modern Art:
QUOTE
"Recent proceeding have only confirmed the Trustees are right to be worried about the mismanagement of the Burrell."

Hans Brill, editor of Art & Architecture:
QUOTE
"A ruling thought not suitable for the times now, may well prove in 20 years to have been wise. Changes made just to suit the times don't auger well."

Timothy Mason, director, Museums & Galleries Commission:
QUOTE
"All bequests are made against a background of contemporary circumstances. These circumstances may well change: cleaner air, safer transport, improved conservation techniques. From time to time it may therefore be valuable to consider whether, in the light of these changes, there's evidence to suggest the benefactor might have thought differently. This can only be good sense.

What I regret is that this reconsideration is taking place in such a public and costly way. and is now in danger of obscuring the more immediate danger of funding cuts which are threatening both Glasgow's Museum service and the city's reputation as a cultural capital."

David Barry, director, National Art Collections Fund:
QUOTE
"One purpose of the NACF is to act as a channel for bequests and it's our job to see that recipients comply with their terms. The key question is, if Burrell was alive today what would he want? The Trustees are there to interpret his wishes. As a general principal the wishes of the testator should be respected if possible."

GG.

Posted by: Guest 3rd Oct 2013, 01:33am

Although I no longer live in Glasgow, I do have a strong and genuine affection for the Burrell collection. I was at the opeining in 1983 and have visited many times. I think the manner in which a man's wishes are being treated are despicable. I have the following questions:

1. Why is all this being done behind closed doors in Edinburgh?
2. What reasons are being given to break our bond to Sir William?
3. Have the family and Burrell trustees been consulted?
4. Have the people of Glasgow been surveyed on their opinions?
5. Why can the McLellan Galleries not be used as a temporary home?
6. Why is the Burrell museum in 'need' of £45 million in repairs?
7. What will be the effect on future prospective benefactors?
8. Where is the hard evidence to back up the council's claims?
9. Who will be responsible if items are lost or damaged?
10. Will Glasgow lose tourists who expect to see the collection?

Posted by: Scotsman 3rd Oct 2013, 12:07pm

All good questions Guest but I have one of my own.... can we take it that you are not the same Guest who was on before and wouldnae answer our questions if we disagreed with him or her??

Posted by: RussT 3rd Oct 2013, 04:22pm

In answer to GG’s very detailed post number 123 I would remark that if
one trawls the internet thoroughly enough one can come up with views to
support almost any position on any subject. GG’s trawl was certainly
thorough.

Neil McGregor is indeed a special advisor to Burrell Renaissance. I
wonder if it is worth trawling the internet to establish whether or not his remarks supporting Glasgow Life’s bid to change the rules predates his appointment to that position.

Posted by: GG 4th Oct 2013, 05:34pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 3rd Oct 2013, 02:31am) *
Although I no longer live in Glasgow, I do have a strong and genuine affection for the Burrell collection. I was at the opeining in 1983 and have visited many times. I think the manner in which a man's wishes are being treated are despicable. I have the following questions:

1. Why is all this being done behind closed doors in Edinburgh?
2. What reasons are being given to break our bond to Sir William?
3. Have the family and Burrell trustees been consulted?
4. Have the people of Glasgow been surveyed on their opinions?
5. Why can the McLellan Galleries not be used as a temporary home?
6. Why is the Burrell museum in 'need' of £45 million in repairs?
7. What will be the effect on future prospective benefactors?
8. Where is the hard evidence to back up the council's claims?
9. Who will be responsible if items are lost or damaged?
10. Will Glasgow lose tourists who expect to see the collection?

Hi Guest, to the best of my knowledge, in short the answers are:

1. The council wants to deny the will; only Holyrood can legalise its denial.
2. Apparently, Sir William didn't understand what was best for his legacy!
3. Family: no – trustees: yes.
4. No evidence has been made available that this has happened.
5. It's too small and there's damp on the walls!
6. It isn't – it's a largely made up figure.
7. They will be inclined to go elsewhere.
8. They have none; it's all supposition. Smoke and mirrors! smile.gif
9. At considerable cost to us, probably insurance companies.
10. Yes, otherwise Glasgow's marketing has been a sham for decades.

GG.

Posted by: Guest Harry 5th Oct 2013, 08:55am

It seems that the I have a some things in common with the Guest who posted reply #124 on this topic. I too have a strong and genuine affection for the Burrell Collection and I was also at the opening in 1983. Unlike the guest, however, I am fortunate enough to be still resident in Glasgow and I regularly make visits to Pollok Park, Pollok House and the Burrell Collection. I would add that on recent visits I have noted that some parts of the exhibition space in the Burrell are beginning to look a little shabby and it is my opinion that if the collection is to remain a major attraction some refurbishment should be undertaken without too much delay.

This being so perhaps I can usefully expand on GG's replies to your questions, no doubt some of which were offered tongue-in-cheek.

QUOTE
1. Why is all this being done behind closed doors in Edinburgh?

It isn’t. The matter has been discussed at length at meetings of Glasgow Life’s board and the minutes of these meetings are available to the public. It has also been discussed in committee at the Scottish Parliament and minutes of these meetings are also available

QUOTE
2. What reasons are being given to break our bond to Sir William?

It is being argued that the terms regarding lending of articles from the bequest were made to protect the collection from the risks associated with moving articles by sea. Since most movement of works of art is now by air it is argued that these concerns are no longer valid.

QUOTE
3. Have the family and Burrell trustees been consulted?

The trustees have been part of the consultation process. I have no knowledge of whether or not surviving family have been consulted.

QUOTE
4. Have the people of Glasgow been surveyed on their opinions?

A survey was conducted involving visitors leaving the gallery. I understand that a majority was in favour of allowing parts of the collection to be shown on loan to other galleries. I am sure that the survey was not confined to Glasgow Council Tax payers.

QUOTE
5. Why can the McLellan Galleries not be used as a temporary home?

Apart from possible considerations of space and security and the present condition of these premises, I see no reason why the MacLellan Galleries should not be used on a temporary basis. The point of touring the Burrell Collection, however, is in part that monies raised would help finance the refurbishment of the building in which it is presently housed.

QUOTE
6. Why is the Burrell museum in 'need' of £45 million in repairs?

The sum of £45 million is to effect repairs and to expand the exhibition space which, incidentally, has never been big enough to show all of the collection at one time. The condition of the present exhibition space suggests to me that it is some time since significant expenditure has been made in maintenance and repair. I would think that this is due to the financial constraints faced by all art galleries and museums throughout the country.

QUOTE
7. What will be the effect on future prospective benefactors?

Who can tell? Some prospective benefactors might be deterred by the thought that any conditions they make might not be met; others might accept that any changes to their wishes would be made with the best interests of their bequest and the best interests of the community at
large in mind.

QUOTE
8. Where is the hard evidence to back up the council's claims?

This is difficult to answer unless one knows what specific claims you
have in mind.

QUOTE
9. Who will be responsible if items are lost or damaged?

The institution to which the items have been lent will be responsible and will be required to insure borrowed items against loss or damage. For fuller details on this point follow the link:

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_Burrell_Collection_Lending_and_Borrowing_Scotland_Bill_Committee/BCLBwe05_Glasgow_Life.pdf

QUOTE
10. Will Glasgow lose tourists who expect to see the collection?

Again, who can tell? The Burrell Collection is not the only reason people visit Glasgow and it could well be that any loss in visitors during the period when the collection is not on show will be more than compensated for by a rise in numbers visiting a refurbished and improved gallery.

Posted by: Guest 7th Oct 2013, 08:45am

QUOTE (GG @ 4th Oct 2013, 06:32pm) *
Hi Guest, to the best of my knowledge, in short the answers are:

1. The council wants to deny the will; only Holyrood can legalise its denial.
2. Apparently, Sir William didn't understand what was best for his legacy!
3. Family: no – trustees: yes.
4. No evidence has been made available that this has happened.
5. It's too small and there's damp on the walls!
6. It isn't – it's a largely made up figure.
7. They will be inclined to go elsewhere.
8. They have none; it's all supposition. Smoke and mirrors! smile.gif
9. At considerable cost to us, probably insurance companies.
10. Yes, otherwise Glasgow's marketing has been a sham for decades.

GG.

Brief answers but illuminating all the same. Surely this is cause for concern among Glaswegians who value the future of their culture? Or does no-one care anymore? Everyone should be proud of the cultural history of a great city and should stand up to it being treated like this. Few places have these kind of assets but you only realise that once you leave Glasgow.

Posted by: GG 8th Oct 2013, 10:11pm

Mona Dickinson, grand-daughter of Mary Burrell, Sir William’s sister, told the Sunday Times this weekend that neither she nor the wider Burrell family had been consulted by 
the Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life or the 'trustees' of the Burrell Collection about the latest costly plans to overturn the conditions of Sir William's will. Ms Dickinson added:

QUOTE
"I suspect 
they have tried to smuggle this through. This debate was thoroughly rehearsed 
in 1997. Experts warned then, as now, that every time you wrap and unwrap a tapestry, some sort of damage can occur. It is inevitable. We should leave matters as they are."

The reference to 1997 was when the council spent at least half a million pounds of our money on legal action at Westminster to try to overturn the conditions of the will. Ultimately, that attempt failed when parliamentary commissioners refused to lift restrictions on the type of artefacts the council wanted, contrary to Sir William's wishes, to cart around the world.

Following the Westminster failure for the council, Ruth Mackenzie, then 87, Sir William's niece and oldest living relative, and one of the few people still alive at that time who knew the shipping magnate well, said:

QUOTE
"This decision is completely contrary to what was in the will. And we all feel that it is wrong to break the will and split the collection.

It is going to set a very bad precedent for other collections and people who want to donate works of art. Ethically it is just wrong and Sir William would be truly horrified. I feel very let down by Glasgow council who have broken their word: what could be worse than that."

During the 1997 proceedings, Ms Mackenzie had made this heartfelt plea to the council and to the city's intransigent museum bosses:

QUOTE
"It's a matter of honour, a question of if you honour your commitment or not. The council gave its word that it would honour his wishes but it has now done its best to overturn them.

I used to visit Uncle William at Hutton Castle with my mother. She was his youngest and favourite sister. They built up quite a bit of the collection together while travelling on the continent, they used to hunt as a pair.

He would be furious if he knew what the council is doing. I don't think he would have given it to Glasgow if he knew this would happen, he would have given it to someone he could have trusted, perhaps Edinburgh as the capital, I think.

He would have thought the money spent on this hearing [from the Burrell trust] would have been better spent adding to the collection."

Meanwhile, the council's/Glasgow Life's latest protracted and costly action to overturn the wishes of a man who left his fortune to the people of Glasgow continues at the Scottish parliament.

If you've not already voted in the poll for this topic...


GG.

Posted by: chas1937 9th Oct 2013, 07:37am

Typical of Glasgow City Council as they are nothing but a lot of idiots and going by way poll is going then there is no way that the Burrell Collection should be sent all over world. Considering all the years it took too bring it to Scotland then that's where it can stay.

The quicker Matheson and his shower of useless idiots get booted out the better and even more so after the George Square fiasco.

Posted by: JAGZ1876 9th Oct 2013, 08:49am

96% of Glaswegians on the GG poll are against the move, i would imagine this will be mirrored as the feelings of Glaswegians as a whole.

And yet again GCC are still determined to ignore the will of the people, favouring their own self interests instead.

Typical angry.gif

Posted by: Guest 9th Oct 2013, 09:50am

While there seems to be an overwhelming body of opinion which opposes the proposals presently being considered in Holyrood for the Burrell Collection, it is a great pity that much of that opinion seems to be expressed in the type of abusive language we see in the post above referring to "idiots".

Can opposition not be expressed in a rational and respectful manner?

Posted by: Guest Harry 9th Oct 2013, 03:12pm

I have not taken a position on this matter and I have not voted in the poll on this board (assuming that non-members are allowed a vote). It is clear from the majority of posts on this topic that the proposals for the future of the Burrell Collection are unpopular, certainly among board members, but I find it odd that on this matter there has been little discussion of the cost to the City of Glasgow if the status quo is maintained.

Has it been considered, for example, what is the cost of the day-to-day running of the Burrell Collection to Culture and Sport Glasgow/Glasgow Life? I do know that the current budget for Culture and Sport Glasgow/Glasgow Life is in the region of £100 million per annum; how much of that budget goes on upkeep and maintenance of the Burrell Collection?

It is my opinion that money needs to be spent on the building but where is that money to be raised? I suspect that my fellow Glasgow council tax payers in these straitened times would be as reluctant as I am to face an increase in our Council Tax payments. Perhaps the answer is to attract more visitors and hence more donations but can we realistically expect more visitors to an attraction which is in need of care and maintenance? Is doing nothing an option?

I have little doubt that Culture and Sport Glasgow/Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council and the Trustees of the Burrell Collection face a real dilemma here and I would be very interested in hearing the views of members of this board on how to that dilemma might be best resolved.

I first learned of Sir William Burrell in a primary school in Glasgow while he was still alive and adding to his collection. In the same school and from the same teacher I learned that a gift of great value which has a maintenance cost greater than that value is called a “white elephant”.

Posted by: CAMPSIE 9th Oct 2013, 06:05pm

This is a disgraceful state of affairs. Firstly Sir William Burrell did not give his collection to Glasgow City Council he gave it to the people of Glasgow. It has brought people from all over the world to see it, which in turn has been good for Glasgow's tourist industry. It is also shameful that monies from the Burrell trust was used by Glasgow City Council to try and overturn the conditions of Sir William will, this should be returned to the trust asap. I would hope that Sir William Burrell's solicitors would take action against GCC to ensure the conditions of his will are never breached again, and that the people of Glasgow can know that Sir William's most generous gift is theirs for eternity as was his intentions. If Glasgow City Council wanted to generate money from it then there are ways to do it by loaning pieces to other museums and galleries, but most definitly NOT by selling any of it.

Posted by: Rab 9th Oct 2013, 07:15pm

Thank you 'Guest' Harry for a most intelligent, thoughtful and realistic appraisal of this problem. I agree with every word. This dilemma for city residents is truly a Sword of Damocles.

Posted by: Scotsman 9th Oct 2013, 11:57pm

Do tell.... if the cooncil is in such a short of supply of funds to look after our cultural treasures then why did it throw away £100 million on a waste of space transport museum that we didnae need?? How long before that flat roof leeks at the riverside museum.... anyone want to take bets?? The cooncil have had years to fix a leeky roof at the Burrell and they have chose not to bother doing anything that would fix it properly and protect OUR cultural treasures that we pass on to our children!!

And theres no need to raise cooncil tax to cover repairs even now and even though repairs years ago would have cost a fraction of what they cost now.... just take the £15 million Matheson allocated to destroying George Square and fix the Burrell roof. Do cooncillors need to play dumb 24/7 or can they not just get their act together and do some real work??

We put men on the moon.... how difficult is it to fix a hole a roof?? clown.gif

Posted by: JAGZ1876 10th Oct 2013, 07:35am

QUOTE (Scotsman @ 10th Oct 2013, 12:55am) *
We put men on the moon.... how difficult is it to fix a hole a roof?? clown.gif


Glasgow........we have a problem.....beep laugh.gif

Posted by: carmella 10th Oct 2013, 12:03pm

Jagz - it is very difficult to fix a hole in a roof if you've ignored a wee hole and watched it, over the years, get larger - then you're talking big money. That is what these people have obviously done, because we all know in our own homes, if you see something small and ignore it, it gets to be a bigger and more expensive problem to fix. The council must think the public are daft.

Now, I'm wondering if Martin should use his wee bit of clout and inform the city council that his board members i.e. us here at the GG have voted against it being moved - wonder what the outcome of that would be!!

Posted by: bilbo.s 10th Oct 2013, 01:23pm

On the other hand, my personal experience of leaking roofs is that a wee hole is very hard to find and seal, whereas one cannot miss a big one. £45 million has to be some kind of con though. huh.gif

Posted by: Guest 10th Oct 2013, 02:11pm

That is exactly the same point I raised and asked earlier bilbo:

6. Why is the Burrell museum in 'need' of £45 million in repairs?

Is anyone here seriously believing that it will take £45 million to fix a leaking roof and maybe tweak the humidity levels that have probably been affected by the incursion of rainwater. The building is only a mere thirty years old for goodness sake. Like other posters have noted -- if you leave a hole to continue to leak and not repair it then of course it is going to get worse the longer you leave it. How long have Glasgow Life been in charge at the Burrell? If they obviously can't fix a small problem like a bit of water getting through the roof then how could we possibly expect them to transport the works of the collection around the world and back again safely and without damage to vulnerable works.

Sir William would be furious at what is going on!

Posted by: Rab 10th Oct 2013, 09:25pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 10th Oct 2013, 03:09pm) *
That is exactly the same point I raised and asked earlier bilbo:

6. Why is the Burrell museum in 'need' of £45 million in repairs?

Is anyone here seriously believing that it will take £45 million to fix a leaking roof and maybe tweak the humidity levels that have probably been affected by the incursion of rainwater. The building is only a mere thirty years old for goodness sake. Like other posters have noted -- if you leave a hole to continue to leak and not repair it then of course it is going to get worse the longer you leave it. How long have Glasgow Life been in charge at the Burrell? If they obviously can't fix a small problem like a bit of water getting through the roof then how could we possibly expect them to transport the works of the collection around the world and back again safely and without damage to vulnerable works.

Sir William would be furious at what is going on!

I don't live in Glasgow and I'm furious about this affair! To quote £45M to repair any roof is an insult to anyones intelligence!

Posted by: carmella 10th Oct 2013, 09:40pm

I absolutely agree with you Rab, I just keep thinking to myself ''what did no-one see the roof needed repaired before the costs even got to £1,000 let along £45 million - c'mon there should be an inquiry into this, these figures and how they have been arrived at need to be questioned.

Posted by: rossmckenzie 10th Oct 2013, 09:59pm

Could not agree more, what happens in Glasgow is simply disgraceful. Edinburgh is applauded throughout Europe these days as a forward looking innovative city while Glasgow appears to have sold its soul to the highest bidder.

I still love Glasgow but find it hard to defend these days... overheard a discussion at Rome airport a few days ago where another Scot was telling some Americans on their way to Edinburgh not to waste their time visiting Glasgow normally I would have been jumping in there guns blazing... I just listened and then walked on and it annoys me that I find it hard to defend my city.

Posted by: CAMPSIE 12th Oct 2013, 07:45am

QUOTE (Guest Harry @ 5th Oct 2013, 09:53am) *
It seems that the I have a some things in common with the Guest who posted reply #124 on this topic. I too have a strong and genuine affection for the Burrell Collection and I was also at the opening in 1983. Unlike the guest, however, I am fortunate enough to be still resident in Glasgow and I regularly make visits to Pollok Park, Pollok House and the Burrell Collection. I would add that on recent visits I have noted that some parts of the exhibition space in the Burrell are beginning to look a little shabby and it is my opinion that if the collection is to remain a major attraction some refurbishment should be undertaken without too much delay....

Guest Harry, no matter what the question and answers about who asked or did what regarding The Burrell Collection, Sir William's codacile is quite clear, he expressly said that NONE of his collection should leave this country not even on loan. It is absolutely abhorrent that the Trustees and Glasgow City Council should even contemplate going against the wishes of Sir William Burrell. I for one would like to see the people of Glasgow raise money to take the trustees and Glasgow City Council to court for fraud, because that is what they are committing against the PEOPLE of Glasgow.

Posted by: GG 12th Oct 2013, 08:54pm

Campsie, I have to say that I agree with you 100% – the touring of the collection overseas (which is unlikely even to make a profit) is an absolutely abhorrent proposition; it's a very sad indictment on all those involved in trying to force this Bill through parliament without any meaningful consultation of the people of Glasgow. Apparently, the council (secretly) ran an online survey which attracted just 61 respondents ... just 1 in 10,000 Glaswegians. Given the council's media resources and reach, it's nothing short of a disgrace and an affront to democratic transparency!

There's an excellent article on this developing fiasco at ArtWatch UK:

Betraying Burrell – Shame on Glasgow
https://artwatchuk.wordpress.com/tag/the-burrell-collection

I would strongly advise that anyone who is interested in the future of the Burrell Collection reads the above article.

GG.

Posted by: GG 12th Oct 2013, 09:04pm

Regarding the wider 'revamp' of the Burrell Collection, there was a timely reminder this week in the Herald's letters' pages of how such a revamp is likely to degrade the experience of visiting the Burrell.

QUOTE
I enjoyed Graeme Smith's Agenda article proposing a maritime heritage centre for Glasgow.

What particularly resonated with me were his comments about the shortcomings of the http://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=20865.

I did not enjoy my first visit soon after it opened but I thought that might have been because it was overcrowded with the early rush of visitors. Sadly, my second visit a couple of weeks ago, when it was relatively quiet, reinforced my disappointment. The Transport Museum contains a wealth of superb exhibits but it is a pity so many are displayed less well than in the Kelvin Hall.

As Graeme Smith notes, the new building is too small for what it contains. Its irregular shape wastes a good deal of the space. The promotional literature tells us that more items are on display than in the Kelvin Hall and the largest, the South African Railways locomotive, takes up a huge amount of room.

Many exhibits that should be grouped together, including the ship models, are scattered about the building, making it difficult to obtain a coherent view of the development of different types of transport. The placing of most of the ship models makes it impossible to walk round them and view them properly. There is much merit in his proposal for a separate maritime museum.

To place motor cars on shelves high on a wall, and suspend motor bikes from the ceiling, can only be described as ridiculous. They cannot be seen properly, which defeats the purpose.

People with a serious interest in the exhibits should be able to expect a reasonable amount of technical and historical information, but the labels seem designed just for children.

I must not be too disparaging. The museum has many good features, notably the recreated street scene. Without doubt it has been successful in attracting many visitors, and it is splendid if it interests children in its subject matter; but for me the old exhibition in the Kelvin Hall was better.

The new building puts style before practicality, but its architecture is undoubtedly imaginative; and, having won the accolade of European Museum of the Year, it is evidently widely admired. But I am reminded of the story of the Emperor's new clothes.

GG.

Posted by: GG 12th Oct 2013, 09:12pm

QUOTE (rossmckenzie @ 10th Oct 2013, 10:57pm) *
Could not agree more, what happens in Glasgow is simply disgraceful. Edinburgh is applauded throughout Europe these days as a forward looking innovative city while Glasgow appears to have sold its soul to the highest bidder.

I still love Glasgow but find it hard to defend these days... overheard a discussion at Rome airport a few days ago where another Scot was telling some Americans on their way to Edinburgh not to waste their time visiting Glasgow normally I would have been jumping in there guns blazing... I just listened and then walked on and it annoys me that I find it hard to defend my city.

Hi Ross, it's a shame that you feel that it is hard to defend Glasgow these days, however, I cannot blame you. It seems that everything in the city has a price and, as you say, the people who run Glasgow are ever-ready to sell out at the drop of a hat. The sad thing about the possibility of losing the Burrell Collection for 4-5 years is that even those who propose the Bill admit that the tour will bring in virtually no profit to the city. It makes you wonder why we are betraying our word to a man who was so generous to us – as you say, selling our soul – for a pittance.

If a city is without honour or integrity, then what does it have?

GG.

Posted by: campsie 13th Oct 2013, 12:45am

GG thank you, I intend to make enquiries to see if there is ANYTHING that can be done to PROTECT the wishes of Sir William Burrell. I will endeavour to keep you informed of progress. I feel so strongly about this, that I just cannot sit back and do nothing. Wish me luck, first stop is Dr Penny director of National Gallery on Monday.

Posted by: GG 13th Oct 2013, 02:03pm

QUOTE (carmella @ 10th Oct 2013, 01:01pm) *
[..] Now, I'm wondering if Martin should use his wee bit of clout and inform the city council that his board members i.e. us here at the GG have voted against it being moved - wonder what the outcome of that would be!!

Hi Carmella, I'm afraid that I have no clout whatsoever regarding Glasgow City Council – the management of the council appears to be a law unto themselves, completely devoid of any respect for the opinions or wishes of the ordinary people of Glasgow. That, of course, does not mean to say that they are not aware of those opinions and wishes: the manner in which the proposed Bill was put together leads me to believe that they know exactly what the people think, and that they have deliberately sought to undermine the opportunity for our voices to be heard.

It's not just the council, though. The mainstream media appear to have assisted in undermining the transparency of the democratic process. If we take the Herald as an example: on the 19th of September, the US-owned newspaper published a story stating that 'Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum, has backed Glasgow's bid to change the rules governing the control of the Burrell Collection'. What the article failed to mention was that Mr MacGregor had been appointed as a Special Adviser to the Burrell Renaissance Group, the driving force in promoting the Bill to change the Sir William's Memorandum of Agreement and Will. Mr MacGregor's dual role had already been questioned by Joan McAlpine, the Convenor of the Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Bill Committee, when she suggested that the nature of his roles might lead to a "conflict of interest".

GG.

Posted by: Rab 13th Oct 2013, 02:34pm

Having just watched the 1hr 50mins of evidence on the Youtube link given within the Artwatch report (above) and regarding the Bill at present before the Scottish parliament, it was interesting to hear the differing viewpoints of the witnesses. The over-riding aspect as it occurs to me that Sir Williams' Will and testament was made somewhat ambiguous due to the later codicil allowing limited loaning of exhibits. This produced a much more difficult interpretation by todays experts and was clearly shown by the testimony given. I commend the video to everyone concerned with this problem. The witnesses appeared split between the Trustees (for the bill) and Artwatch (against) and all made interesting and valid points. The thing that has niggled with me, and I suspect most GG members is the neccessity of the Parliament to judge the issue, rather than the Courts. Whilst I think most of us here are in favour of Sir Williams Will being adhered to whatever the circumstances, in all practicality, and as was raised by the Law Professor at the end, a decision has to made one way or the other, may I suggest that the proper course would be through the Scottish Courts rather than Parliament,(whom the Professor suggested was proper) and who, I would argue, have no legal bearing on the wishes of Sir William. In practical terms, it seems sensible that the Courts. who can rule on Wills etc, may in future place a time limit on the wishes of testators as was suggested in the hearing. Whether this would have a retrospective bearing on the present issue is still in doubt and would be up to the Courts to judge appropriately. No doubt a City-wide referendum on the subject would help sway their judgement as the Collection was, after all, left to the citizens of Glasgow, not the City Council.

Posted by: GG 13th Oct 2013, 11:00pm

QUOTE (campsie @ 13th Oct 2013, 01:43am) *
GG thank you, I intend to make enquiries to see if there is ANYTHING that can be done to PROTECT the wishes of Sir William Burrell. I will endeavour to keep you informed of progress. I feel so strongly about this, that I just cannot sit back and do nothing. Wish me luck, first stop is Dr Penny director of National Gallery on Monday.

Hi Campsie, yes, please let us know how you get on. I am sure the campaign will garner a huge amount of grassroots support on the way to stop the council, as the Burrell family says, from 'smuggling through' this abhorrent, disrespectful and damaging piece of legislation.

GG.

Posted by: GG 13th Oct 2013, 11:07pm

QUOTE (Rab @ 13th Oct 2013, 03:32pm) *
Having just watched the 1hr 50mins of evidence on the Youtube link given within the Artwatch report (above) and regarding the Bill at present before the Scottish parliament, it was interesting to hear the differing viewpoints of the witnesses. ...

Hi Rab, I'd like to comment on your reflections when it's not so late, however, in short, I have to agree with you that there is something very unusual about the need to seek additional legislation in this case. I suspect that, regardless of the outcome at Holyrood, we are going to see this matter pursued through the courts, at an additional huge cost to Glasgow City Council, on top of it funding the ongoing action at Holyrood. And to think that the same council is closing down services for the most vulnerable Glaswegians at the same time that it is incurring enormous costs in its ornery attempts to overturn the Will of a man whose generosity to the city is almost immeasurable. Very sad, really.

GG.

Posted by: campsie 14th Oct 2013, 12:10am

GG the very fact that Glasgow City Council is closing down services for the most vunerable makes their spending on dishonouring Sir William Burrells will even more heinus. Maybe a grant from the National Lottery for the refubishments for the collections could be applied for by the Burrell collections trustees.......just a thought.

Posted by: Talisman 14th Oct 2013, 01:15am

It is consistent practice in the art world that collections of important and famous works be "loaned" to galleries throughout the world. If this were not the case members of the public would not have access to the wonders of the art world in many different forms. I have, when young, toured many art galleries and places of cultural significance all over the world. However there are those who can't visit for what ever reason. To deny them would be supreme arrogance on anyone's part for what ever reason. The display of these works, contributes greatly to the well being of the gallery hosting the event. Millions of dollars are spent on admission and promotions. My wife, of North American origin, was always remarking on the generosity of the Scots, this being in spite of their reputation for being mean with money and resources. Glaswegians seem to be perpetuating this myth, especially on this forum, with their cries that money be spent elsewhere other than where apparently democratically elected functionaries have decided it should be. Why should the treasures of Glasgow not be displayed for the world to see.

Insularity has all but been wiped from the world. Where this insularity still holds the attention of the few, as can be seen in Europe with the rise of violent nationalism, and from all but places where war is the norm. I was proud to be a "Citizen of no mean city". Please note that in the words of St. Paul; "mean" was taken to mean small and insignificant. Glasgow to the world, was never small nor insignificant.

Posted by: Betsy2009 14th Oct 2013, 07:59am

Has anyone written to their Councillor or MP about this?

Posted by: Guest Harry 14th Oct 2013, 10:38am

Campsie,

I am afraid that you might find some difficulty in rousing the people of Glasgow to raise money to sue the Trustees of the Burrell Collection and Glasgow City Council. Even on this board the respondents to the poll, for and against only account for some 4.4% of the total board membership. As in many other matters of public concern, apathy would seem to rule. I note your intention to contact Dr Penny of the National Gallery and I will be interested in learning the result of that contact. It might be of interest to you that it is the stated intention of Glasgow Life to apply for lottery funding of £15 million of the £45 million they say they need for refurbishment and expansion of the building.

My sole purpose in my original post #129 was to try to answer more fully the very sensible questions put by another guest with whom I share a strong and genuine affection for the Burrell Collection.

As I indicated in my post #135 on this matter, I have neither taken a position on the question nor taken part in the poll on this topic. I would further like to make clear that I am neither an apologist for Glasgow Life or an unreserved supporter of Glasgow City Council.

My intention in the latter post was to identify the dilemma which is faced by Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life with regard to the future care and maintenance of the collection and the present need to make repairs to the building and expand the exhibition space. I also wanted to express my interest in hearing the views of board members on how Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life might best resolve these issues. Thank you, “Rab”, for your kind remarks regarding this post.

I am disappointed in the responses. Apart from “Scotsman” (in post #138) who would:

QUOTE
… just take the £15 million Matheson allocated to destroying George Square and fix the Burrell roof.

the general response was to continue the blame game excoriating the City Fathers, Glasgow Life and the Trustees of the Burrell Collection.

My point that the £45 million was to be used for repairs and expanding the exhibition space seems to have been either missed entirely or ignored.

Like “Rab” I have viewed the You Tube video of the proceedings of the Scottish Parliamentary Committee which is considering this matter. I was particularly interested in the exchange between Professor Gretton and the Committee Convenor Joan McAlpine regarding “the power of the dead to constrain the wishes of the living”. This seems to be the thrust of much of the discussion here. This exchange can be found around 1 hour 40 minutes into the video.

The matter will be decided in the Scottish Parliament early in the New Year, I think. Perhaps we should be making our feelings known to our MSPs before this time. It is my sincere hope that whatever decision is reached it will be to the benefit of both the Burrell Collection and the City of Glasgow.

Posted by: Betsy2009 14th Oct 2013, 11:37am

Too many people moaning about it on this board without doing anything!
Write to your Councillors/MSPs. Get a petition going. Contact them on-line.
Don't expect GG to do everything for you. It's numbers that count.
I certainly would - if I lived in Glasgow these days (sorry!).

Posted by: Rab 14th Oct 2013, 11:39am

QUOTE (Talisman @ 14th Oct 2013, 02:13am) *
It is consistent practice in the art world that collections of important and famous works be "loaned" to galleries throughout the world. If this were not the case members of the public would not have access to the wonders of the art world in many different forms. I have, when young, toured many art galleries and places of cultural significance all over the world. However there are those who can't visit for what ever reason. To deny them would be supreme arrogance on anyone's part for what ever reason. The display of these works, contributes greatly to the well being of the gallery hosting the event. Millions of dollars are spent on admission and promotions. My wife, of North American origin, was always remarking on the generosity of the Scots, this being in spite of their reputation for being mean with money and resources. Glaswegians seem to be perpetuating this myth, especially on this forum, with their cries that money be spent elsewhere other than where apparently democratically elected functionaries have decided it should be. Why should the treasures of Glasgow not be displayed for the world to see.

Insularity has all but been wiped from the world. Where this insularity still holds the attention of the few, as can be seen in Europe with the rise of violent nationalism, and from all but places where war is the norm. I was proud to be a "Citizen of no mean city". Please note that in the words of St. Paul; "mean" was taken to mean small and insignificant. Glasgow to the world, was never small nor insignificant.

Talisman: Your points regarding the loaning of art treasures are well taken as any reader of this thread will see. However, I note that nowhere in your post did you mention the absolute wishes of the lender, Sir William which makes this issue possibly unique and legally binding unless the Scottish Courts judge otherwise. Therefore it is somewhat harsh to criticise Glaswegians, who only wish to abide by the will of Sir William.
Before you consider the populace of Glasgow mean-spirited I suggest you read each post and try to understand that 1. Sir Williams gift was to the people of the city of Glasgow as in his last will. He gave a limited codicil allowing apparent lending to Great Britain only. and 2. These citizens, who you consider 'mean' are simply wishing that the terms of the will are respected. The generosity of the Scots is also one of our great treasures and is in no way diminished by wishing to retain the wishes of a great city benefactor.

Posted by: Betsy2009 14th Oct 2013, 11:44am

Quite right, Rab. It's not so much the collection - it's the principle and honour and trust and integrity and everything else that these people seem to be lacking.

Posted by: Elma 14th Oct 2013, 05:30pm

QUOTE (Talisman @ 14th Oct 2013, 01:13am) *
It is consistent practice in the art world that collections of important and famous works be "loaned" to galleries throughout the world. If this were not the case members of the public would not have access to the wonders of the art world in many different forms. I have, when young, toured many art galleries and places of cultural significance all over the world. However there are those who can't visit for what ever reason. To deny them would be supreme arrogance on anyone's part for what ever reason. The display of these works, contributes greatly to the well being of the gallery hosting the event. Millions of dollars are spent on admission and promotions. My wife, of North American origin, was always remarking on the generosity of the Scots, this being in spite of their reputation for being mean with money and resources. Glaswegians seem to be perpetuating this myth, especially on this forum, with their cries that money be spent elsewhere other than where apparently democratically elected functionaries have decided it should be. Why should the treasures of Glasgow not be displayed for the world to see.

Insularity has all but been wiped from the world. Where this insularity still holds the attention of the few, as can be seen in Europe with the rise of violent nationalism, and from all but places where war is the norm. I was proud to be a "Citizen of no mean city". Please note that in the words of St. Paul; "mean" was taken to mean small and insignificant. Glasgow to the world, was never small nor insignificant.

I totally agree Talisman. I have visited many museums and art galleries where I saw displayed many artifacts and paintings from other museums round the world. Visitors have seen these because they were loaned by their 'home' gallery and enjoyed by many more than could have seen them had they been kept in their original museum. Last time I was in Glasgow I visited the Art Galleries many times and again saw Dali's Christ of St. John of the Cross. I was also reminded that it was loaned to the US a few years ago where it received many accolades from those who had the pleasure of seeing it there. What is wrong with allowing the rest of the world seeing some of the artifacts that Sir William Burrell brought home many years ago, they will only be loaned not given away and will be returned again to their home.

Posted by: Scotsman 14th Oct 2013, 06:06pm

I have to say that Talsimans post is one of the daftest I have ever read on here. rolleyes.gif Trying to make a link between a people trying to save their most valuable treasures and violent nationalism is really scraping the barrel.

And last time I looked Glasgow was still in the tourism business to support tens of thousands of jobs so we need our treasures here so that tourists will come and visit the city and spend money. Its not rocket science!!

Posted by: Elma 15th Oct 2013, 01:31am

QUOTE (Scotsman @ 14th Oct 2013, 06:04pm) *
And last time I looked Glasgow was still in the tourism business to support tens of thousands of jobs so we need our treasures here so that tourists will come and visit the city and spend money. Its not rocket science!!

Glasgow may well be in the tourism business, but how do tourists know that Glasgow has treasures if it is not publicized abroad and the best way to do that is to share some of these treasures with other museums and galleries around the world so that they will know what can be seen in Glasgow then go to Glasgow, visit the city and spend money. That's not rocket science!!

Posted by: Scotsman 15th Oct 2013, 09:32am

The best way to sell something is to give it away for free then?? huh.gif Sorry Elma I just dont buy into that kind of business at all. Thats why advertising was invented to publicise places and things. You dont need to risk carting our valuable treasures around the world like some circus show to get people to come here.... you advertise what we have to offer and they will come. But you have to do it right of course.

But anyway even if what you suggested works then we are still not in the position to start breaking up the the Burrell Collection because we promised Sir William that we would not do it. Even if it cost us a couple of bob and a few tourists I would far rather that we be honourable and stick to our word.

Posted by: Rab 15th Oct 2013, 11:45am

Elma, you are missing the point of the problem here. The whole collection as willed by Sir William was never to be loaned outside the UK - period! Its not up to the City Council, Trustees or anyone else, even us ex-pats, no matter what we think - unless the will is overturned by the Courts. thumbup.gif

Posted by: GG 15th Oct 2013, 08:06pm

QUOTE (Rab @ 13th Oct 2013, 03:32pm) *
Having just watched the 1hr 50mins of evidence on the Youtube link given within the Artwatch report (above) and regarding the Bill at present before the Scottish parliament, it was interesting to hear the differing viewpoints of the witnesses. ...

Rab, I didn't watch the video, but have read the official report (from 19th September 2013) of the meeting, http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/64710.aspx. A number of interesting points struck me regarding this meeting, particularly from Michael Daley of Artwatch, who put a very convincing argument together to remind the committee that overseas loans still represent a significant additional risk to priceless works. However, as you say in your post above, we shouldn't even be considering this, until the courts have decided on the issues regarding Sir William's Will and Memorandum of Agreement. That said, there was a very interesting observation made by the legal expert, Professor Gretton, at the end of the meeting. Considering the status of the expert, I think this observation should be worth pursuing by the Burrell family or the Burrell Trustees (although, judging by the latter's apparent supine acquiescence in the face of the flimsiest of challenges, I doubt they have much fight left in them).

Anyway, the observation made by Professor Gretton was this:
QUOTE
Jackson Carlaw: Glasgow City Council currently lends delicate items such as tapestries and pastels to other institutions, despite an expressed prohibition from Sir William. The council argues that the terms of the bill cannot affect items that were gifted to the council before Sir William died, even though in some cases the possession of those items did not transfer until after his death. Do you agree with that interpretation of the law? In interpreting it that way, is the council respecting the letter rather than the spirit of Sir William’s intentions?

Professor Gretton: On the purely legal question, I think that the point is arguable both ways. The most natural reading is that the restriction about fabrics and so on applies only to items that were bought by the trustees subsequently, and not to the original collection. However, there is an alternative argument—which if you were to pay an advocate enough, they would certainly put—that by implication that restriction was extended even to the original collection. The basis of that argument is the wording of the will. The way I read it, the will indicates that Sir William wished the restriction about fabrics to apply to the whole collection. You could say that he could not impose that condition, because the 1944 agreement had already put the original collection beyond his control, but that is not how he saw it.

[...] You could argue that, because of the wording of the will, if the city council accepted the future donations, by implication it must accept the terms of the will, which would apply even to the existing collection. My view is that it is arguable both ways.

So, Glasgow City Council is already breaking the 'expressed prohibition from Sir William' by loaning delicate, priceless objects from the Burrell's prohibited list (which includes tapestries, pastels, carpets, rugs, lace and needlework) within the UK. If it's already flaunting the existing 'rules' then how are we ever supposed to trust it (or Glasgow Life) to implement any outcomes of the current gratuitous proceedings?

GG.

Posted by: Rab 15th Oct 2013, 09:21pm

QUOTE (GG @ 15th Oct 2013, 09:04pm) *
Rab, I didn't watch the video, but have read the official report (from 19th September 2013) of the meeting, http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/64710.aspx. A number of interesting points struck me regarding this meeting, particularly from Michael Daley of Artwatch, who put a very convincing argument together to remind the committee that overseas loans still represent a significant additional risk to priceless works. However, as you say in your post above, we shouldn't even be considering this, until the courts have decided on the issues regarding Sir William's Will and Memorandum of Agreement. That said, there was a very interesting observation made by the legal expert, Professor Gretton, at the end of the meeting. Considering the status of the expert, I think this observation should be worth pursuing by the Burrell family or the Burrell Trustees (although, judging by the latter's apparent supine acquiescence in the face of the flimsiest of challenges, I doubt they have much fight left in them).

Anyway, the observation made by Professor Gretton was this:

So, Glasgow City Council is already breaking the 'expressed prohibition from Sir William' by loaning delicate, priceless objects from the Burrell's prohibited list (which includes tapestries, pastels, carpets, rugs, lace and needlework) within the UK. If it's already flaunting the existing 'rules' then how are we ever supposed to trust it (or Glasgow Life) to implement any outcomes of the current gratuitous proceedings?

GG.


Precisely! thumbup.gif

Posted by: GG 15th Oct 2013, 11:02pm

Thanks, Rab! smile.gif

I found an interesting comment to a story of the Burrell Collection being broken up and touted round the globe on a museum professionals website. It raises the pressing point that the gratuitous and unethical action currently being pursued by Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life – paid for by the public, of course – may harm the city in the future.

QUOTE
I am sorry, but lets state the obvious. The donor has given the items with specific requests attached. That was his wish. For the organisation that now holds the collection to be looking to circumvent the terms of the donation to meet their present needs is ethically wrong. I know travel and transportation is now different from 1944, especially as the donation was made during a conflict that had devastated many galleries internationally but is it really now up to politicians and curators to second guess what the wishes of the donor would be today? It is not an unreasonable condition to put in with a donation is it? Has anybody who knew the donor, or a family member been approached to ascertain their views?

Some people have built up large collections of many types of things that would be attractive to museums and would be looking at donating those collections to museums and galleries, but may want to attach reasonable conditions to that donation (for example items not to be used in handling collections) - I know because I am one of these people. If a museum publicly disregards the wishes of a donor from the past wouldn't this potentially jeopardise future donations? It has made me rethink - why would a museum take a donation with conditions if it has the potential not to honour them? Why do curators think they know best when they are meeting a need at that time, whether it be financial or political.

GG.

Posted by: campsie 16th Oct 2013, 07:37am

Guest Harry, I did not say I wished to sue the trustees of the Burrell collection, I suggested sueing the Glasgow City Council for using money to overturn the wishes of Sir William Burrell's will. This is an affrontary and GCC should be taken to task.

Posted by: campsie 16th Oct 2013, 07:45am

Talisman, most people are aware of the loaning practices of museums and galleries, but I find your arrogance in suggesting that those who oppose the loaning of the Burrell collection are guilty of supreme arrogance for not doing so. Maybe if you had paid attention to the reason for this thread you would realise that we are discussing the wishes of Sir William Burrell's will and codicil which states clearly that he did not want his collection to be loaned or sold off. He very generously left his collection to the PEOPLE of Glasgow not to the Glasgow City Council, and for them to use underhand methods in trying to overturn the will's conditions is fraudulent and abhorrent.

Posted by: Guest Harry 16th Oct 2013, 02:08pm

Today’s Herald carries on Page 2 a picture of one of the gateways in the Burrell Collection museum and a brief piece marking the museum’s thirty years of operation. The article mentions the deterioration of the building over its thirty years and Glasgow Life’s plan to close it for a four-year revamp. I was surprised that no mention was made of the efforts presently being made to change the terms of Sir William Burrell’s bequest to allow parts of the collection to be shown abroad.

Over the last few weeks I have followed this matter quite closely on this web site and elsewhere. I have also read quite carefully much of the available material from the Scottish Parliament. I find it very interesting that experts from organisations such as Artwatch and Donorwatch seem to be pursuing agendas of their own while it goes without saying that Glasgow Life’s agenda is stated and very clear. The role and agenda of the Burrell Collection’s trustees is less clear and I find myself wondering if we can “trust the trustees…”.

For my own part I am still undecided on the matter but I will continue to take an interest and I shall make every effort to attend the debates on the question in Holyrood. These are due to take place in November and January.

Whatever the outcome of the January vote there is still the question of what should be done about the Burrell’s leaking roof and how repairs might be paid for. Shall we buy a tarpaulin from B&Q and treat the problem the way we would a leaking roof on a garden shed? Perhaps the collection deserves more than that.

Posted by: Scotsman 16th Oct 2013, 05:35pm

There is no need for either a tarpaulin OR a tour because the council has promised £15m for the Burrell museum. Like I said before they could then add the £15m that is left in the pot after the George Square fiasco. Add another £15m for the Lottery and theres the £45m. And even if they dont get all or any of the Lottery money then I am sure there will be many many companies out there in these difficult times who will be willing to fix a roof for a pittance of £30m!! rolleyes.gif

The whole issue of going against the word of a man who gave the people of Glasgow so much is just a sham.... an absolute sham. The money is there so there is no need to ship the Burrell Collection from city to city like someone said as if it were a travelling circus. Time to stop this nonsense now.

Posted by: GG 16th Oct 2013, 10:21pm

Scotsman, I wouldn't waste too much time worrying about the figure that the council and Glasgow Life conjured up. That sum is just designed to instill a wee bit of fright in the punters: in a sense, to create a faux crisis.

As for £45 million, that figure has risen by £10 million in less than six months ... wonder what the figure will be in another six months? The whole thing is just a joke. Here's how it was reported in the Herald on Friday, 26th April 2013:

QUOTE
Burrell group formed

An influential team of prominent figures drawn from the worlds of art, business and international diplomacy has been assembled to spearhead the £35 million revamp of Glasgow's Burrell Collection.

"Prominent figures", at least they got that bit right!

GG.

Posted by: Scotsman 17th Oct 2013, 03:10pm

Who knows what the price will rise to and who will pay the full money. Just goes to show what was talked about earlier that if the roof had been fixed when it first sprung a leak then we would not be having to spend millions. angry.gif

Posted by: Rab 17th Oct 2013, 09:22pm

QUOTE (Scotsman @ 17th Oct 2013, 04:08pm) *
Who knows what the price will rise to and who will pay the full money. Just goes to show what was talked about earlier that if the roof had been fixed when it first sprung a leak then we would not be having to spend millions. angry.gif

I've got some great waterproof tape in my shed they can have Scotsman. It's free as my donation to the project thumbup.gif

Posted by: GG 19th Oct 2013, 06:22pm

I listed above a recent http://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/index.php?s=&showtopic=26289&view=findpost&p=3642899 to the Herald condemning the state of the arrangement of exhibits at the new Riverside Transport Museum. Below, I reproduce a review of the http://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=20239. What is striking is the similarity in the opinions expressed by two different people of two different museums at two different times. Unmistakable is the fact that both reflections allude disapprovingly to the way both venues have been dumbed down for the crudely interpreted needs of young children. No doubt this is the kind of 'revamping' Glasgow Life has in store if they get their way with the Burrell Collection.

QUOTE
"I was looking forward to visiting the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow, and there were several paintings and sculptures in particular that I hoped to see. What a disappointment.

The display was such that it was almost impossible to focus on a single work of art, as there was always another work - invariably unsympathetic - right next to it, jostling into view. Paintings were displayed on comically short temporary walls, so that paintings of around 3 or 4 feet in height were almost on the ground. Sculptures huddled together in the most nonsensical gathering in a side wing on the ground floor. From the ceiling hung a display of leering heads, which a sign proudly announced were designed by a member of staff from the museum's events department. They looked like the sort of thing dreamed up by window-dressers for a noodle bar or shoe shop. Just why they merited pride of place in the sculpture gallery, and their own postcard to boot, was mystifying.

Worst of all were the walls texts. Clearly aimed at the 8-10 year old visitors to the gallery, they were apparently written by the 10-12 year olds. Not a scrap of information was to be gleaned. I can not bring myself to repeat the inanities therein, only to mention that in a room devoted to the 'Glasgow boys' (a temporary exhibit), the first wall text I encountered was not an introduction to the group per se, but a sign announcing that if I liked what I saw, I could buy a postcard in any one of the three shops arranged throughout the gallery.

Along with the ugly cafe in the central gallery on the ground floor (a cafe that seemed to be lifted straight out of an airport), I thought perhaps I had entered the Kelvingrove suburban shopping centre, with its delightfully undisguised commercialism and utter disregard for history, aesthetics, ideas, or artistic endeavour. Amazing idiocy."

GG.

Posted by: GG 19th Oct 2013, 08:38pm

In reference to the post by 'Guest Harry', here's a response.

QUOTE
This being so perhaps I can usefully expand on GG's replies to your questions, no doubt some of which were offered tongue-in-cheek.

I see no reason in answering questions in-depth that are irrelevant. The only issue of relevance here is the integrity of GCC/GL to honour the last wishes of a very generous and honourable man.

QUOTE
1. Why is all this being done behind closed doors in Edinburgh?
It isn’t. The matter has been discussed at length at meetings of Glasgow Life’s board and the minutes of these meetings are available to the public. It has also been discussed in committee at the Scottish Parliament and minutes of these meetings are also available

Glasgow Life's minutes only list in the briefest form the decisions made by that privileged board. They give no meaningful insight into the decision-making process.

QUOTE
2. What reasons are being given to break our bond to Sir William?
It is being argued that the terms regarding lending of articles from the bequest were made to protect the collection from the risks associated with moving articles by sea. Since most movement of works of art is now by air it is argued that these concerns are no longer valid.

A false assumption. Sir William never made any reference to sea travel being the reason why he did not wish his works to travel abroad. This was confirmed by Archie Graham.

QUOTE
3. Have the family and Burrell trustees been consulted?
The trustees have been part of the consultation process. I have no knowledge of whether or not surviving family have been consulted.

The family have not been consulted. They are very much against the proposal and plan to "http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/scotland/article1323883.ece?CMP=OTH-gnws-standard-2013_10_05".

QUOTE
4. Have the people of Glasgow been surveyed on their opinions?
A survey was conducted involving visitors leaving the gallery. I understand that a majority was in favour of allowing parts of the collection to be shown on loan to other galleries. I am sure that the survey was not confined to Glasgow Council Tax payers.

The Burrell exit survey is irrelevant. The council fleetingly surveyed a maximum of 0.01% of Glaswegians in an online poll which was not effectively publicised ... for obvious reasons.

QUOTE
5. Why can the McLellan Galleries not be used as a temporary home?
Apart from possible considerations of space and security and the present condition of these premises, I see no reason why the MacLellan Galleries should not be used on a temporary basis. The point of touring the Burrell Collection, however, is in part that monies raised would help finance the refurbishment of the building in which it is presently housed.

Wrong. Bridget McConnell, Glasgow Life boss, has confirmed that a tour is unlikely even to make a profit.

QUOTE
6. Why is the Burrell museum in 'need' of £45 million in repairs?
The sum of £45 million is to effect repairs and to expand the exhibition space which, incidentally, has never been big enough to show all of the collection at one time. The condition of the present exhibition space suggests to me that it is some time since significant expenditure has been made in maintenance and repair. I would think that this is due to the financial constraints faced by all art galleries and museums throughout the country.

The council has neglected the Burrell Collection for decades, but to suggest that £45 million is needed to effect repairs is just fantasy land.

QUOTE
7. What will be the effect on future prospective benefactors?
Who can tell? Some prospective benefactors might be deterred by the thought that any conditions they make might not be met; others might accept that any changes to their wishes would be made with the best interests of their bequest and the best interests of the community at
large in mind.

The proposed GCC/GL changes to the Will/Memorandum are neither in the best interests of the bequest or in the best interests of the community, at least not the people of Glasgow. Future benefactors will avoid Glasgow.

QUOTE
8. Where is the hard evidence to back up the council's claims?
This is difficult to answer unless one knows what specific claims you have in mind.

It's easy to answer: the council has no technical data to back up their claims. Avoidance of difficult questions seems to be the plan.

QUOTE
9. Who will be responsible if items are lost or damaged?
The institution to which the items have been lent will be responsible and will be required to insure borrowed items against loss or damage. For fuller details on this point follow the link.

It's yet another moot point. By the time they come to arguing about liability, the damage will already (literally) have been done.

QUOTE
10. Will Glasgow lose tourists who expect to see the collection?
Again, who can tell? The Burrell Collection is not the only reason people visit Glasgow and it could well be that any loss in visitors during the period when the collection is not on show will be more than compensated for by a rise in numbers visiting a refurbished and improved gallery.

Glasgow cultural assets have always been a prime draw, and for good reason as they rate #1 in visitor attractions surveys. Not far behind at #3 is visitors' interest in the history of Glasgow. Both visitor motivations will be detrimentally affected by the short-sighted, narrow-minded and selfish proposals. As for future visitor numbers compensating a 4-5 year closure period, this is pure fantasy. If we take predictions for the predicted 'settling down' number of visitors to Kelvingrove as an example, we see that in 2011 visitor numbers to the Art Galleries were 269,000 less than the council predicted for the refurbished museum. In fact the Kelvingrove's visitor numbers in 2011 were less than what they were before the £35 million revamp. Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life just don't know how to do effective revamps!

GG.

Posted by: Guest 20th Oct 2013, 04:08am

Thanks GG and Harry.

Very good to see the two opposing points together.

Posted by: GG 21st Oct 2013, 10:43pm

Bridget McConnell of Glasgow Life, 9th September 2013:

QUOTE
"We list every item of damage and, as Councillor Graham said, in more than 20 years, we have no history of any damage to items going out on loan or being brought in on loan."

The Herald, 19th October 2013
QUOTE
[It has been reported that an] on-loan artefact needed to be repair [sic] in 2012/2013, due to a member of the public falling against a case and knocking the object off a plinth.

Archie Graham of Glasgow City Council, 9th September 2013:
QUOTE
Sir William's collection remains in the safest of hands [...] I have no doubt that, today, Sir William would approve of what we are proposing to the committee, safe in the knowledge that his precious cargo will not be at risk.

GG.

Posted by: Scotsman 22nd Oct 2013, 11:34am

I saw that it was 30 years ago yesterday that the queen opened the Burrell. I went a while later after the crowds were quieter. I was surprised there was not much in the news about it being 30 years old. A wee birthday celebration might have been in order I think.

Posted by: DavidT 22nd Oct 2013, 12:24pm

QUOTE (Scotsman @ 22nd Oct 2013, 12:32pm) *
I saw that it was 30 years ago yesterday that the queen opened the Burrell. I went a while later after the crowds were quieter. I was surprised there was not much in the news about it being 30 years old. A wee birthday celebration might have been in order I think.

A 30th birthday celebration would have been a good idea. Mind you it would probably have consisted of a big bash for the usual suspects. The building did get A-listed status for its birthday. Maybe they're using conditions set by Historic Scotland to justify the repairs.

Anyway happy birthday Burrell building. I was in Pollok park this morning, but not that far up.

Posted by: Guest Harry 26th Oct 2013, 04:07am

QUOTE
1. Why is all this being done behind closed doors in Edinburgh?
Glasgow Life's minutes only list in the briefest form the decisions made by that privileged board. They give no meaningful insight into the decision-making process.

That is a very subjective opinion. The minutes may not give the “meaningful insight” you seem to require but they give the lie to the phrase “behind closed doors in Edinburgh”. I note you make no mention of the transparency of the proceedings taking place at Holyrood which also give the lie to the phrase “behind closed doors in Edinburgh”.

QUOTE
2. What reasons are being given to break our bond to Sir William?
A false assumption. Sir William never made any reference to sea travel being the reason why he did not wish his works to travel abroad. This was confirmed by Archie Graham.

A false assumption? On whose part? Regardless of your answer it is being argued that the reason for Sir William’s stricture of the collection being toured abroad was the dangers associated with sea travel. References to this argument can be found in documents published by DonorWatch and Artwatch and I am sure it is mentioned in the Parliamentary Committee proceedings.

QUOTE
3. Have the family and Burrell trustees been consulted?
The family have not been consulted. They are very much against the proposal and plan to "fight it".

When I replied to post #125 I had no knowledge of the Burrell family's intention to contest the proposal currently being considered by the Parliamentary Committee nor, indeed,did I have any knowledge of whether or not they had been consulted. This was clear in my reply. Their plans to fight the proposal are perhaps a little late as I would have thought the right and proper place to take issue with this would have been in the Parliament. An intervention by the family at this stage could conceivably avoid a costly process in the courts should the legislation being discussed be passed.

QUOTE
4. Have the people of Glasgow been surveyed on their opinions?
The Burrell exit survey is irrelevant. The council fleetingly surveyed a maximum of 0.01% of Glaswegians in an online poll which was not effectively publicised ... for obvious reasons.

You may well believe that the Burrrell exit survey to be irrelevant but nevertheless it took place and its results were no doubt reported to the Scottish Parliamentary Committee. I had no knowledge of the online poll being conducted exclusively for Glaswegians. Since such a poll has been conducted I am sure that its scope and its result have also been reported to the Parliamentary Committee.

QUOTE
5. Why can the McLellan Galleries not be used as a temporary home?
Wrong. Bridget McConnell, Glasgow Life boss, has confirmed that a tour is unlikely even to make a profit.

The main thrust of that question was asking about the possibility of using the MacLellan Galleries on a temporary basis. I believe that I answered that fully. At the time of writing it was, I believe, still being argued that revenue could be raised by a touring exhibition.

QUOTE
6. Why is the Burrell museum in 'need' of £45 million in repairs?
The council has neglected the Burrell Collection for decades, but to suggest that £45 million is needed to effect repairs is just fantasy land.

While I would not go as far as to agree that Glasgow Council has neglected the collection for decades I do know from personal observation that some refurbishment is urgently required. The Burrell Collection is not the only property in the care of Glasgow Life. I think we need to appreciate the financial demands made on Glasgow Life’s budget and the need to prioritise. Dr McConnell is quite clear on this point in her submission to the Parliamentary Committee. I would be reluctant to accept your dismissal of any figure as mere “fantasy land” without further justification on your part.

QUOTE
7. What will be the effect on future prospective benefactors?
The proposed GCC/GL changes to the Will/Memorandum are neither in the best interests of the bequest or in the best interests of the community, at least not the people of Glasgow. Future benefactors will avoid Glasgow.

I am afraid that I can only take that as your opinion. No one can say with any certainty what will happen in the future.

QUOTE
8. Where is the hard evidence to back up the council's claims?
It's easy to answer: the council has no technical data to back up their claims. Avoidance of difficult questions seems to be the plan.

Again, I must ask: what claims?

QUOTE
9. Who will be responsible if items are lost or damaged?
It's yet another moot point. By the time they come to arguing about liability, the damage will already (literally) have been done.

No. That is not a moot point. If you would like to follow the link I supplied in my Post #129 you will find:

A code to regulate lending from the Burrell Collection between the Trustees of Sir William Burrell (“the Trustees”), Glasgow City Council (“the Council) and Culture And Sport Glasgow (operating as “Glasgow Life and Glasgow Museums”) as agent for the Council.

QUOTE
10. Will Glasgow lose tourists who expect to see the collection?
Glasgow cultural assets have always been a prime draw, and for good reason as they rate #1 in visitor attractions surveys. Not far behind at #3 is visitors' interest in the history of Glasgow. Both visitor motivations will be detrimentally affected by the short-sighted, narrow-minded and selfish proposals. As for future visitor numbers compensating a 4-5 year closure period, this is pure fantasy. If we take predictions for the predicted 'settling down' number of visitors to Kelvingrove as an example, we see that in 2011 visitor numbers to the Art Galleries were 269,000 less than the council predicted for the refurbished museum. In fact the Kelvingrove's visitor numbers in 2011 were less than what they were before the £35 million revamp. Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life just don't know how to do effective revamps!

Indeed, Glasgow’s cultural assets have always been a prime draw. Perhaps that is yet another reason that it is incumbent upon Glasgow Life to maintain and improve these assets.

I will not argue with your figures but interesting as your answer above may be, it does not, and cannot, answer questions about what will happen in the future.

Posted by: GG 26th Oct 2013, 01:08pm

Apparently, the Evening Times already knows the outcome of a democratic parliamentary process before it has even been put to the members of the Scottish parliament in Holyrood. From the newspaper in Thursday:

QUOTE
[...] Believe it or not, but the Pollok Park gallery [sic] is this month celebrating its 30th birthday, and in 2016 will close for a four-year, multi-million pound revamp.

Perhaps the on-going committee process will seek to question the newspaper about how a publication – which has received money from Glasgow City Council to announce the council's intention to promote the private bill – claims to know about the outcome of the Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Bill in advance of it being debated?

GG.

Posted by: GG 27th Oct 2013, 01:34pm

A response to http://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/index.php?act=findpost&pid=3644137.

QUOTE
1. Why is all this being done behind closed doors in Edinburgh?
That is a very subjective opinion. The minutes may not give the “meaningful insight” you seem to require but they give the lie to the phrase “behind closed doors in Edinburgh”. I note you make no mention of the transparency of the proceedings taking place at Holyrood which also give the lie to the phrase “behind closed doors in Edinburgh”.

Wrong. Glasgow Life's minutes are relatively worthless in terms of establishing the decision-making processes which govern the management of public assets.

QUOTE
2. What reasons are being given to break our bond to Sir William?
A false assumption? On whose part? Regardless of your answer it is being argued that the reason for Sir William’s stricture of the collection being toured abroad was the dangers associated with sea travel. References to this argument can be found in documents published by DonorWatch and Artwatch and I am sure it is mentioned in the Parliamentary Committee proceedings.

Wrong again. You really must read the documents you refer to in 'support' of your increasingly precarious viewpoint. You ask: "A false assumption? On whose part?" On the part of the Glasgow Life chairman himself when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Monday, http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=8477&mode=pdf.

QUOTE
The Convener: Thanks very much. To stay with the will for a moment, I return to Mr Graham’s opening comments. You reflect a generally held interpretation of Sir William’s wishes, which is that he was worried about ship transport and that that is why he did not want the material to be lent outside Great Britain. However, in paragraph 27 of the policy memorandum, it is stated that there is nothing written down to explain why Sir William did not want his collection to be lent overseas. Is that correct?

Councillor Graham: To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing written down that says that. I guess that we are making a bit of an assumption because of Sir William’s connection with the shipping world. That is where we are coming from when we make that statement.

So, in just two questions (the other one being about integrity) from a committee member, Glasgow Life's moral and practical arguments for overturning Sir William's will were demolished beyond repair. Firstly, the integrity of the collection was extremely important to Sir William and Lady Burrell; and, secondly, Sir William never stated that his reason for not wishing his legacy to travel overseas was to do with his estimation of the dangers associated with sea transportation. Those questions had the Glasgow Life threesome on the ropes, but the best part is still to come, as noted below regarding question 5 ...

QUOTE
3. Have the family and Burrell trustees been consulted?
When I replied to post #125 I had no knowledge of the Burrell family's intention to contest the proposal currently being considered by the Parliamentary Committee nor, indeed,did I have any knowledge of whether or not they had been consulted. This was clear in my reply. Their plans to fight the proposal are perhaps a little late as I would have thought the right and proper place to take issue with this would have been in the Parliament. An intervention by the family at this stage could conceivably avoid a costly process in the courts should the legislation being discussed be passed.

Guest Harry, if you are putting yourself forward as an authoritative and knowledgeable commentator on these very important issues, then I have to assume that you are in possession of the most important facts.

QUOTE
4. Have the people of Glasgow been surveyed on their opinions?
You may well believe that the Burrrell exit survey to be irrelevant but nevertheless it took place and its results were no doubt reported to the Scottish Parliamentary Committee. I had no knowledge of the online poll being conducted exclusively for Glaswegians. Since such a poll has been conducted I am sure that its scope and its result have also been reported to the Parliamentary Committee.

I refer my guest friend to the reply I gave some moments ago.

QUOTE
5. Why can the McLellan Galleries not be used as a temporary home?
The main thrust of that question was asking about the possibility of using the MacLellan Galleries on a temporary basis. I believe that I answered that fully. At the time of writing it was, I believe, still being argued that revenue could be raised by a touring exhibition.

Here's the 'thirdly' I referred to above, and this time it is the demolishing of the third pillar of Glasgow Life's argument, i.e. that a tour will raise millions. Surprisingly, perhaps, the revelation that a tour is unlikely even to generate a profit comes from Bridget McConnell, Glasgow Life chief executive, who said to the committee: "Touring does not in itself make money. If it washes its face and makes a small profit, it is doing pretty well." Enough said on the folly of the economic argument, then.

QUOTE
6. Why is the Burrell museum in 'need' of £45 million in repairs?
While I would not go as far as to agree that Glasgow Council has neglected the collection for decades I do know from personal observation that some refurbishment is urgently required. The Burrell Collection is not the only property in the care of Glasgow Life. I think we need to appreciate the financial demands made on Glasgow Life’s budget and the need to prioritise. Dr McConnell is quite clear on this point in her submission to the Parliamentary Committee. I would be reluctant to accept your dismissal of any figure as mere “fantasy land” without further justification on your part.

I am sure that the chief executive is quite up to the task of reconciling the financial demands of the company's budget – after all, she is in receipt of a six-figure salary to compensate her for her troubles. I humbly suggest that it is the company's guiding priorities that are wrong. £100 million spent on a replacement transport museum?

QUOTE
7. What will be the effect on future prospective benefactors?
I am afraid that I can only take that as your opinion. No one can say with any certainty what will happen in the future.

Indeed, no-one can say for certain, however, I think it is safe to assume that when benefactors wish to incorporate stipulations with their bequest, they are probably more inclined to place their trust where history shows it to be worthy.

QUOTE
8. Where is the hard evidence to back up the council's claims?
Again, I must ask: what claims?

The evidence to back up their claims that the council's ignominious behaviour will benefit the city. Small things like business plans, financial analysis, survey reports, etc..

QUOTE
9. Who will be responsible if items are lost or damaged?
No. That is not a moot point. If you would like to follow the link I supplied in my Post #129 you will find:

A code to regulate lending from the Burrell Collection between the Trustees of Sir William Burrell (“the Trustees”), Glasgow City Council (“the Council) and Culture And Sport Glasgow (operating as “Glasgow Life and Glasgow Museums”) as agent for the Council.

Yes, sorry, a moot point. For the reasons I have already given.

QUOTE
10. Will Glasgow lose tourists who expect to see the collection?
Indeed, Glasgow’s cultural assets have always been a prime draw. Perhaps that is yet another reason that it is incumbent upon Glasgow Life to maintain and improve these assets.

I will not argue with your figures but interesting as your answer above may be, it does not, and cannot, answer questions about what will happen in the future.

Indeed, 'it is incumbent upon Glasgow Life [and the council] to maintain and improve these assets', and that is what the Burrell Trustees have been trying to get them to do for decades before they were bullied into submission.

GG.

Posted by: Scotsman 1st Nov 2013, 09:16pm

QUOTE (DavidT @ 22nd Oct 2013, 12:13pm) *
A 30th birthday celebration would have been a good idea. Mind you it would probably have consisted of a big bash for the usual suspects. The building did get A-listed status for its birthday. Maybe they're using conditions set by Historic Scotland to justify the repairs.

Anyway happy birthday Burrell building. I was in Pollok park this morning, but not that far up.

Agreed David. The usual suspects would probably have been the ones to benefit so probably not that bad idea not to do too much. But it could have been a chance for the city cooncillors to show their thanks to the family of Sir William Burrell.... that would not have taken too much money at the end of the day.

Still ridiculous that repairs have taken this long and will cost us so much!! angry.gif

Posted by: Scotsman 12th Nov 2013, 05:29pm

I read an article in the paper that this had been decided.... can anyone confirm?? Surely not.... what about consultation with the public who were given the Burrell Collection??

Posted by: Guest 12th Nov 2013, 10:10pm

Both the Scotsman and the Herald carried the story that the Scottish Parliamentary Committee considering the Burrell Collection Lending and Borrowing Bill has recommended that the bill be agreed and should proceed as a private bill. The matter has still to be agreed by the full Parliament and that vote is likely to take place in January.

The committee's preliminary stage report concludes:

108. The Committee recommends to the Parliament that the general principles of the Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Bill be agreed to and that the Bill should proceed as a private Bill.

http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/arts/visual-arts/msps-approve-lending-of-burrell-collection-art-1-3183321 - - http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/69786.aspx

Posted by: GG 12th Nov 2013, 11:54pm

QUOTE (Scotsman @ 12th Nov 2013, 05:46pm) *
I read an article in the paper that this had been decided.... can anyone confirm?? Surely not.... what about consultation with the public who were given the Burrell Collection??

It's the publication of the http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_Burrell_Collection_Lending_and_Borrowing_Scotland_Bill_Committee/Reports/buR-13-01w.pdf, Scotsman. I've just read the full report, and I have to say that, considering it is an official output of a national parliament, it is one of the most deficient pieces of exploratory work I have ever read. Dreadful, really. The entire report is very obviously the result of a deeply flawed deductive process, where a conclusion has been reached in general terms and, thereafter, the evidence has then been collated and filtered to try to support the conclusion.

However, worse than the flawed reasoning is the almost complete lack of reference to the application and consideration of factual, theoretical and conceptual subject knowledge. The reasoning process is supported only by opinion, conjecture, hypothesis and supposition. We have, for example, a social scientist presenting as an expert in technological innovation, and a politician standing in for the professional acumen of a qualified structural engineer.

If this is the kind of 'considered' output that we are to expect from Holyrood, perhaps there is much to be said for sticking with Westminster, where at least the Parliamentary Commissioners had the common decency in 1997 to – in the absence of any compelling reason to do otherwise – uphold the conditions of the written Will of Sir William Burrell? ohmy.gif



GG.

Posted by: GG 13th Nov 2013, 12:12am

Could the following be an indication of how seriously Joan McAlpine, Convener of Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Bill Committee, took her responsibility to the people of Glasgow and to the legacy of Sir William and Lady Burrell ... from the Daily Record in September this year:

QUOTE
Would Bill Burrell in his grave?

I was one of over a million people who visited the newly opened Burrell Collection in 1983.

The beautiful glass building, which seemed to grow out of Glasgow's Pollok woodland, took my breath away.

So did the exhibits, from the stunning Degas pastels to the delicate Chinese porcelain. Little did I guess that many years hence I would play a part in deciding its future.

I am convenor of the Burrell Lending and Borrowing Bill committee, which must scrutinise proposals to change the terms of Sir William Burrell's will.

The shipping millionaire and art collector amassed a priceless collection that was gifted to the city of Glasgow, with a few provisos and quid pro quos.

He worried about air pollution - which was rank in Britain until the clean air law of the 1950s - and wanted the collection away from industry.

He did not want his art lent abroad, for fear of damage during transport.

But experts now say that transporting art is much safer.

Glasgow Life, who run the gallery for the council, claim lending abroad would generate income, enhance the reputation of the Burrell Collection and attract visitors to Scotland.

The committee must decide whether Sir William would agree - or would have stuck to his original plans.

Second guessing the dead is no easy task but the work is fascinating.

Last week, we got a tour of the Burrell vaults from museum staff. We heard of the immense efforts to keep moths out of medieval tapestries.

Global warming means the little blighters breed more often and freezing the fabric is the only way to kill them off.

The store rooms are as fascinating as the gallery itself.

They are crammed with paintings, furniture and carvings.

I found myself asking: "How many 17th century four poster beds could one person own?" Sir William had a severe case of squirrelitis.

Fortunately for future generations, he only squirrelled away things that soared in value.

I'm sure that one of my former teachers – ironically, the wife of one of the main protagonists – might have something to say about Ms McAlpine's (non) use of paragraphs!

GG.

Posted by: Guest 13th Nov 2013, 09:31am

QUOTE
I'm sure that one of my former teachers – ironically, the wife of one of the main protagonists – might have something to say about Ms McAlpine's (non) use of paragraphs!

I think criticism of the article's use or non-use of paragraphs is more properly laid at the door of the article's editors.

Posted by: angel 13th Nov 2013, 12:36pm

Martin , I must admit that I know very little about "The Burrell Collection" and from what I have been reading this is my loss.

However, I personally believe that it should go on exhibition to other parts of the world, allowing others to see at least some of it and of course making money that would hopefully be used to maintain this treasure.

Maybe someday it will be exhibited in Toronto. smile.gif

Posted by: chas1937 13th Nov 2013, 02:34pm

QUOTE (Scotsman @ 12th Nov 2013, 05:46pm) *
I read an article in the paper that this had been decided.... can anyone confirm?? Surely not.... what about consultation with the public who were given the Burrell Collection??

I also read about it yesterday and was sure it had been agreed on sending it all over the world and probably for a lot off it too mysteriously disappear.

Posted by: Betsy2009 13th Nov 2013, 05:38pm

I hope someone, preferably family, has a really good inventory!

Posted by: john.mcn 13th Nov 2013, 06:00pm

QUOTE (angel @ 13th Nov 2013, 12:53pm) *
Martin , I must admit that I know very little about " The Burrell Collection " and from what I have been reading this is my loss .

However , I personally believe that it should go on exhibition to other parts of the world , allowing others to see at least some of it and of course making money that would hopefully be used to maintain this treasure .

Maybe someday it will be exhibited in Toronto . smile.gif

I want to see the Pyramids and it's treasures, do you think they'll dismantle it and send it to Glasgow to save me the air fare?

Posted by: bilbo.s 13th Nov 2013, 06:02pm

QUOTE (john.mcn @ 13th Nov 2013, 07:17pm) *
I want to see the Pyramids and it's treasures, do you think they'll dismantle it and send it to Glasgow to save me the air fare?


laugh.gif

Posted by: Heather 13th Nov 2013, 11:12pm

John, why don't you send the Egyptian Government an email, I'm sure they will be happy to oblige you.
Just remember, when you get to the top of the Pyramids to stick a Cone on top. laugh.gif

Posted by: GG 13th Nov 2013, 11:39pm

QUOTE (angel @ 13th Nov 2013, 12:53pm) *
Martin , I must admit that I know very little about "The Burrell Collection" and from what I have been reading this is my loss.

However, I personally believe that it should go on exhibition to other parts of the world, allowing others to see at least some of it and of course making money that would hopefully be used to maintain this treasure.

Maybe someday it will be exhibited in Toronto. smile.gif

Thanks Angel, I very much appreciate your position and your desire to see the Burrell Collection exhibited in, for instance, Toronto. However, Sir William and Lady Burrell left detailed and numerous instructions that the collection should remain as an integral, whole collection, and that none of the items should be transported overseas. Glasgow politicians had the opportunity to refuse to accept the conditions set out by the Burrells, however, they agreed to the conditions, and that is why the collection came to Glasgow.

Of course, decades later, the type of politicians we have in Glasgow City Chambers see absolutely no problem in routinely discarding the wishes of a man whose generosity to Glasgow is incalculable. If this reprehensible behaviour wasn't bad enough, they make it worse through the abuse of power and the abuse of language in order to deny ordinary Glaswegians a say in the matter. Despicable conduct.

We are living in a city where politicians have absolutely no moral compass, and where values like respect, integrity and honour are anathema to short-sighted decision-makers. It wasn't always like this. While researching the background to the siting of the Burrell Museum in Pollok Park, I came across the most wonderful reflection by Mr Richard Buchanan, MP for Springburn from 1964 to 1979. In a speech to the Westminster parliament in 1966, Mr Buchanan said the following:

QUOTE
Could a place be found for the Burrell Collection? It seemed too good to be true. On 16th December, 1963, the trustees, those concerned in the National Trust, and ourselves, visited the Pollok estate. On that grey December day Pollok estate still looked gorgeous. The trustees were impressed. They considered, they held meetings, and they agreed, subject to certain safeguards and conditions, that the Burrell Collection should be housed in Pollok.

I shall remember that day for the rest of my life. The mixture of excitement and delight with which I was filled made me almost incoherent. It was a great thrill to be associated, even in a small and humble way, with anything that promised to make history for my native city. ... I cannot believe that there is another site more appropriate for the housing of this collection anywhere else in the world.

GG.

Posted by: GG 14th Nov 2013, 12:10am

QUOTE (Guest @ 13th Nov 2013, 09:48am) *
I think criticism of the article's use or non-use of paragraphs is more properly laid at the door of the article's editors.

That may well be the case, Guest, i.e. where a style preference is adopted to fit the low tone of the rest of the newspaper; however, don't you think that Ms McAlpine should have been able to spell the word 'convener'? After all, that was supposed to be her role on the Holyrood committee?

Grammar and spelling aside, are you not concerned that a Holyrood MSP, who has been trusted with a considerable responsibility in a delicate an emotive case, should use her newspaper column to poke fun at the memory of a man whose generosity to the city is incalculable?

GG.

Posted by: Talisman 14th Nov 2013, 12:20am

Why rely on democracy when there are socialists to tell you what to do and when to do it. I take it that the governors of Glasgow are Labour in their disposition if not in belief. There will no doubt be a profit margin to be contended with and it will by all means be directed towards providing a greater degree of service to the population of Glasgow.

AYE RIGHT JIMMY!!!

Posted by: Guest 14th Nov 2013, 06:04am

The trouble with overturning the donor's wishes to allow touring - which is good in itself - is that it is the thin end of the wedge and could lead to the break-up of the collection.

It is one thing to amend or update a bequest for modern circumstances, but to confound its fundamental intention would be a serious act of bad faith, as well as a disaster for the collection itself.

Posted by: Selby Whittingham 14th Nov 2013, 08:13pm

The recommendation by the committee that Burrell's conditions should be ignored is deplorable. We in DONOR WATCH opposed this when it was mooted in the 1990s. Whereupon other Scottish donors came to us with their complaints. It is part of a general tendency to dishonour commitments entered into by museums and others when they accept gifts with attached conditions. I give a detailed analysis of a Burrell Committee hearing in the latest post of the ArtWatch UK blog.

Posted by: GG 14th Nov 2013, 09:51pm

I very much look forward to reading your analysis at Donor Watch, Selby. As you say: a deplorable recommendation. I would like to make a response to your analysis after I have had time to read and consider it; however, at the moment I just wanted to add a link to your article:

A Poor Day of Remembrance for Burrell
http://artwatchuk.wordpress.com

GG.

Posted by: Betsy2009 14th Nov 2013, 10:15pm

This will probably be the last time anyone with anything of worth (and I don't mean money) leaves anything to the Glasgow people.

The whole thing is a disgrace and all for the lack of straightforward building/maintenance of one little building or it would probably never have happened/come to light.

Posted by: norrie123 14th Nov 2013, 10:41pm

So the collection is going out on loan, hope the people of Glasgow remember the folk who permitted this at local election time.

This may stop folk donating items in future.

Bye for now, norrie

Posted by: carmella 15th Nov 2013, 07:49am

They are going against a man's wishes, that it specifically not be toured around the world.

I see no problem whatsoever in leaving the collection here in Glasgow.

Let's face it, how many weird, wonderful and interesting things and places are there in the world we would all like to see. If we have the means and ability, we make it our own business to one day travel to these sights. There are still many museums I'd love to visit, and places, but to be honest it won't be in my lifetime, neither time nor finances allow.

Leave it in Glasgow and for those young enough and interested enough whenever they have the cash needed to come here, they will see it for themselves.

Posted by: GG 16th Nov 2013, 12:08pm

QUOTE (Betsy2009 @ 14th Nov 2013, 10:32pm) *
This will probably be the last time anyone with anything of worth (and I don't mean money) leaves anything to the Glasgow people.

Absolutely, Betsy! However, this will not worry the principal proposers of the Bill to rob Glasgow of the Burrell Collection, betraying, in the process, a people's word to one of its most auspicious citizens. The fatcats behind this Bill are millionaires – not even from Glasgow – who have little time for the city, its people, or any sense of communal honour. That no-one will leave anything of value to Glasgow ever again will probably be seen by them as a welcome side-effect of the Bill ... after all, they will say, 'why should poor people own a collection of international art'?

QUOTE
The whole thing is a disgrace and all for the lack of straightforward building/maintenance of one little building or it would probably never have happened/come to light.

There are many who believe – including at one time the Burrell trustees – that the council's determined and sustained inability (neglect?) to fix the hole in the roof has been a deliberate, long-term ploy to weaken the will of the trustees and to undermine the integrity of the collection. The basic tenet of effective management is to solve any extant problems before making important decisions – the council has refused to do this, instead obfuscating the problem with the integrity of the collection. It is a shameful and despicable way for politicians to behave.

So, we have politicians (Labour, Tory and SNP), the Scottish media (notably the Herald and Scotsman)*, and the Edinburgh elite firmly behind this repugnant Bill ... what can the people of Glasgow do to protect our honour and our legacy?

--
* While the editorial opinion of both papers is firmly behind the Bill (more so at the Herald), there are some columnists who oppose the editorial line.
GG.

Posted by: GG 16th Nov 2013, 12:15pm

QUOTE (norrie123 @ 14th Nov 2013, 10:58pm) *
So the collection is going out on loan, hope the people of Glasgow remember the folk who permitted this at local election time.

This may stop folk donating items in future.

Bye for now, norrie

Well said, Norrie!

GG.

Posted by: GG 16th Nov 2013, 12:37pm

QUOTE (carmella @ 15th Nov 2013, 08:06am) *
They are going against a man's wishes, that it specifically not be toured around the world.

I see no problem whatsoever in leaving the collection here in Glasgow.

Let's face it, how many weird, wonderful and interesting things and places are there in the world we would all like to see. If we have the means and ability, we make it our own business to one day travel to these sights. There are still many museums I'd love to visit, and places, but to be honest it won't be in my lifetime, neither time nor finances allow.

Leave it in Glasgow and for those young enough and interested enough whenever they have the cash needed to come here, they will see it for themselves.

As you say, Carmella: they are going against a man's wishes and breaking the bond the city made with Sir William when he agreed to gift his legacy to Glasgow, as opposed to Edinburgh or London.

One of the more perverse claims of the promoters of the Bill is that (they claim) carting off the collection on a shabby world tour will actually benefit Glasgow. Of course, neither the council or Glasgow Life have been able to produce any evidence to support such a silly claim. As I mentioned in an earlier post, when the council shipped Dali's Christ of Saint John of the Cross to America, the visitor numbers to Kelvingrove fell and failed to rise after the painting's return. How many foreign visitors to Glasgow – over the five-year closure period – are going to come here and be very disappointed that the Burrell Collection has been scattered across the world?

GG.

Posted by: Pea in a Pod 16th Nov 2013, 02:11pm

There never should have been a debate about this.

There was and is no ambiguity in spelling out very clearly in his last will that a non-negotiable condition of retaining all objects in one location (ie. the Burrell Collection building in Glasgow) is legally and ethically binding who ever agreed to it.

This should be respected and protected, and its very worrying that people in power (who discuss this) can be manipulated by PR talk (Glasgowlife is a brand) and simply sell out on the cultural heritage of the city and people of Glasgow-demolishing associated ethics and morals along the way.

What kind of example does this set to the people of Glasgow?

Posted by: Guest 20th Nov 2013, 06:15am

The Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Private Bill goes to the Scottish parliament for debate tomorrow. I am sure that MSPs will give due consideration to the points of view which have been raised on public forums and in the wider media. I anticipate that the considered decision of MSPs will be to liberate the huge potential of the Burrell Collection and do justice to Sir William Burrell's belief that the Collection should be appreciated by the widest possible international audience.

A final decision by MSPs is expected in January 2014.

Posted by: Betsy2009 20th Nov 2013, 10:10am

Guest?
"Sir William Burrell's belief that the Collection should be appreciated by the widest possible international audience" - by coming to Glasgow to see it?

Posted by: Scotsman 20th Nov 2013, 12:41pm

Well said Betsy. This is bonkers.... all of a sudden these people can tell what Sir William Burrell wanted even though he said exactly the opposite. Keep the collection in Glasgow and advertise it better and many more people will come to visit.... also fix the blooming roof!! angry.gif

Posted by: Guest 22nd Nov 2013, 06:59pm

In our age of modern communication media you can 'bring' the collection to an international audience. Invest just a fraction of the money it cost to set up tours (touring of objects cost a lot of money and do not make meaningful financial profits for the lender) into the care, study and research of the collection. Get it documented and recorded (through photography for example).

Blog about it, make it available online and even virtual exhibitions. Get people excited and interested so they come to Glasgow to not only visit the collection in the most beautiful setting of Pollok Country Park- but they might also want to see all the other collections in Glasgow, Kelvingrove, St Mungo, Gallery of Modern Art, Riverside, etc...

Posted by: GG 24th Nov 2013, 11:52pm

Guest, you make, of course, a cogent and sensible argument, however, the people behind the Private Bill to undermine the express wishes of Sir William Burrell could not care less about encouraging visitors to Glasgow. Sad, but true.

GG.

Posted by: Guest 27th Nov 2013, 05:22pm

... I agree with you. I think it's not only sad but true - but it's selling out on basic morals and ethics for a quick PR stunt - truly criminal...

Posted by: Scotsman 27th Nov 2013, 07:49pm

QUOTE (Scotsman @ 20th Nov 2013, 12:58pm) *
Well said Betsy. This is bonkers.... all of a sudden these people can tell what Sir William Burrell wanted even though he said exactly the opposite. Keep the collection in Glasgow and advertise it better and many more people will come to visit.... also fix the blooming roof!! angry.gif

Agree too Guest!! angry.gif

One thing that I just read about on another site was that the museum was going to close from 2016.... so my question is are they going to wait another 3 years before fixing the blooming roof?? I didnt see that date mentioned on here but might have missed it??

Posted by: GG 28th Nov 2013, 10:35pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 27th Nov 2013, 05:39pm) *
... I agree with you. I think it's not only sad but true - but it's selling out on basic morals and ethics for a quick PR stunt - truly criminal...

I have to agree with you, Guest. Unfortunately, many Glaswegians question whether Glasgow politicians are equipped to wrestle with such complex concepts as morals and ethics. PR stunts, as you mention, appear to be more their forte. In terms of criminality, as I have mentioned before, I would not rule out the (up to now ignored) Burrell family taking this matter to the courts to decide, regardless of what Holyrood rubber stamps.

Not much in the papers over the last few days about the Private Bill, although I did spot a text message in the Daily Record yesterday:

QUOTE
In response to [Holyrood Cabinet Secretary for Culture] Fiona Hyslop's suggestion that the Burrell Collection be lent out, I think it would be absolutely deplorable if the wishes of Sir William Burrell were ignored. He gifted it to Glasgow on the condition it would not be taken abroad.

J. Kane, Kilmarnock.

GG.

Posted by: RussT 29th Nov 2013, 04:06pm

There seems to be a bit of confusion and misinformation here. Has this issue actually been debated in the Scottish Parliament?

Posted by: GG 29th Nov 2013, 08:27pm

Not exactly sure about what you mean about 'misinformation here' huh.gif Please let me know what you think is misinformation and I'll be pleased to illuminate, RussT. Of course, that said, the strategy of the proposers of the Private Bill has been an exercise in sophistry ... but that is nothing to do with the people of Glasgow.

QUOTE
Has this issue actually been debated in the Scottish Parliament?

It depends on how you term debate. There has been a twenty minute friendly chat between the members of the Burrell Lending committee, but there was no debate in Holyrood of the very real and important issues that still need to be debated, i.e. opposing arguments put forward and considered in detail objectively by knowledgeable people. I think it's fair to say that if Sir William Burrell had witnessed this backslapping between politicians who were supposed to be debating the future of his vulnerable and precious collection, then he would have been incandescent with rage. Sir William was not a man to haud his wheesht if he thought he was being done a disservice to.

GG.

Posted by: RussT 30th Nov 2013, 09:49am

Misinformation?

QUOTE (Guest @ 20th Nov 2013, 06:32am) *
The Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Private Bill goes to the Scottish parliament for debate tomorrow.

Posted by: GG 3rd Dec 2013, 10:47pm

RussT, while I am not responsible for the factual accuracy of guests' posts (especially from those like 'Guest Harry' who posted from Glasgow City Council, the promoters of the Private Bill), I have to say that Guest's information is not 'misinformation', in the technical sense at least. Taken from the 'background paper' on procedure for Consideration Stage:

QUOTE
On 21 November 2013, Parliament debated The Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Bill at Preliminary Stage. It agreed the general principles of the Bill and that it should proceed as a Private Bill.

Of course, as I said above, that 'debate' was to a 'serious and objective consideration of the issues' what a Big Mac is to a sirloin steak! smile.gif

The same paper includes the following:
QUOTE
Consideration Stage

2. Consideration Stage is roughly equivalent to Stage 2 of a Public Bill. It is taken entirely by the Private Bill Committee, which normally has two main tasks to fulfil.

3. The first is to give full consideration to any objections which were not rejected at Preliminary Stage. In this case, no objections to the Bill were received. The second task is to consider any amendments to the Bill that may be lodged and to agree each section of the Bill, any schedules and the long title.

4. The deadline for lodging amendments to this Bill is 2pm on Tuesday 3rd December. Amendments to Private Bills at Consideration Stage may only be lodged by members of the Bill Committee, who may do so on behalf of the promoter. I do not anticipate any amendments from the Promoter.

Next Steps

5. The meeting on 5th December will complete the Private Bill Committee’s consideration of the Bill. The Final Stage (equivalent to Stage 3 of a Public Bill) is taken in the Chamber and involves all MSPs. It consists, first, of a further opportunity to consider any amendments to the Bill (which may be lodged by any MSP), followed by a debate on a motion to pass the Bill.

6. The Final Stage of The Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Bill will take place as a debate in the Chamber and is likely to take place later in December or early in the New Year.

What is very obvious to me on reading the above, and in scrutinising the proceedings of the Bill Committee up until now, is that the key decision in getting a Private Bill passed in Holyrood is the decision about the membership of – and, even more crucially – the convenership of the said committee. I have to say that, as a Glaswegian, I have very serious reservations about both the membership and convenership of this committee.

GG.

Posted by: Guest 4th Dec 2013, 01:16pm

QUOTE
What is very obvious to me on reading the above, and in scrutinising the proceedings of the Bill Committee up until now, is that the key decision in getting a Private Bill passed in Holyrood is the decision about the membership of – and, even more crucially – the convenership of the said committee. I have to say that, as a Glaswegian, I have very serious reservations about both the membership and convenership of this committee.

Scottish Parliamentary Committees are appointed by the Parliamentary Bureau which is made up of the Presiding Officer and a representative from each political party which has more than five MSPs and a representative of any grouping of five or more members from parties with fewer than five MSPs or from independents.

Should you have reservations or concerns about the make up of a particular committees I would have thought it your civic duty to approach the Parliamentary Bureau, either directly or through your MSP, to express these reservations or concerns.

Posted by: Scotsman 5th Dec 2013, 02:44pm

After all the discussion here I went again on Saturday for the upteenth time with my grandaughter. As always a great experience with great facilities in a great setting. Its impossible to believe that this place needs £45 million spent on it as it looks in great condition apart from some boards that have been set up to block off the rain water presumably that gets in. This museum should be fixed pronto and should stay open to the public.... how could anyone think of shutting this down from the public for years?? Such a big mistake!!

Posted by: GG 16th Dec 2013, 08:42pm

In the Sunday Times yesterday: Glasgow Life refusing to explain why the costs to fix the Burrell's leaky roof have rocketed to £45m:

QUOTE
The body behind a controversial move to tour the renowned Burrell art collection has been accused of "a lack of transparency" over plans for renovations supposedly costing £45m. Glasgow Life, an arm of the city council, claims that it needs the money to repair a leaky roof and refurbish a 30-year-old gallery which houses the collection.

The massive repair bill has been cited as justification for taking exhibits on a global tour to raise money, despite this being against the wishes of Sir William Burrell, a shipping magnate who donated the collection in 1944.

Last week, critics questioned how Glasgow Life arrived at the £45m figure, given that in 2001 the estimated bill for repairing the roof was less than £2m.

Other internal improvements put the overall bill at about £5m.

"No explanation has been given for this staggering inflation," said Michael Daley, director of campaign group ArtWatch UK.

"Had the council acted in 2001, the cost of all repairs and some improvements would have been a fraction of the £45m - an unexplained sum it hopes to recoup in part by sending plum examples of all categories of work, including fragile textiles and pastels prohibited by Burrell, on a hazardous world tour."

The Sunday Times asked Glasgow Life, which enjoys public funding, to provide a detailed breakdown of how it arrived at the £45m figure.

A spokesman said the workings were "commercially sensitive".

GG.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 17th Dec 2013, 07:40am

Translation - For "commercially sensitive" read rip-off. rolleyes.gif

Posted by: Betsy2009 17th Dec 2013, 08:33am

Or there's no proof that it went out to tender.

Posted by: Betsy2009 17th Dec 2013, 08:34am

We could always put in an offer to fix it for only £35M, sub contract it out for £5M then share out the balance?

Posted by: bilbo.s 17th Dec 2013, 08:40am

Sounds like a plan, Betsy. Unfortunately someone got there first !

Posted by: GG 18th Dec 2013, 09:02pm

Another letter – this time from a concerned Scotsman reader in Edinburgh – about the outrage that hovers over the future of the Burrell Collection.

QUOTE
Burrell outrage

In 1944 William Burrell donated his collection of art and historical artefacts to Scotland, legally binding that gift with two specific conditions: that an appropriate setting be provided for his collection, and that it was never to be split – even for the purpose of temporary loans to other ­exhibitions.

Why should other owners of great art consider doing the same now that Glasgow City Council (GCC) – having been knocked back on several occasions – is even now taking a bill to the Scottish Parliament for the purpose of setting aside Burrell’s ­conditions?

Its justification for this theft – because that is what it will arguably be – is that the Burrell Collection building is now in need of £45 million worth of upgrade, repair and maintenance.

In 2001 that cost was predicted to be £2m-£5m, and even allowing for inflation no explanation for the crazy increase has ever been offered. Having observed the competition between our two major cities for some 35 years it is hard not to think that, jealous of the Edinburgh trams fiasco, Glasgow is demanding a financial scandal of its own.

Is GCC’s hope that by hiring out the key exhibits from the Burrell they can turn the ­museum into a cash cow for a cash-strapped administration?

Once exhibits have gone can we be sure that we will ever see them again? If they can hire out the collection why not sell the best bits of it?

If the Burrell building is no longer fit for purpose, and the council is trying to break the collection, then the two major conditions of Burrell’s gift have fallen. I hope MSPs will have moral courage to oppose this bill, or his descendants are considering legal action to secure the collection’s return to his family.

Edinburgh Resident.

GG.

Posted by: ashfield 19th Dec 2013, 10:20am

Spot on GG, what is it our administrators are seeing ( not you tongue.gif ) that we are all missing here? Apart from one (suspect) post, I think don't think anybody has been supporting this course of action.

And we can't blame Westminster this time rolleyes.gif

Posted by: LuckyO 19th Dec 2013, 01:54pm

QUOTE
So, we have politicians (Labour, Tory and SNP), the Scottish media (notably the Herald and Scotsman)*, and the Edinburgh elite firmly behind this Bill ...

Surely that leads you to question who is out of step?

Posted by: Guest 19th Dec 2013, 02:00pm

The city's people have lost faith in and control over the running of our wonderful city. Our politicians are a disgrace.

Posted by: DavidT 20th Dec 2013, 10:08am

History repeating? Going back in time a little. Does anyone know what became of Archibald McLellan's collection? (McLellan Galleries).

http://www.scottish-places.info/people/famousfirst1507.html

Posted by: GG 21st Dec 2013, 12:48pm

QUOTE (LuckyO @ 19th Dec 2013, 02:11pm) *
Surely that leads you to question who is out of step?

No, not really.




GG.

Posted by: GG 21st Dec 2013, 01:01pm

QUOTE (DavidT @ 20th Dec 2013, 10:25am) *
History repeating? Going back in time a little. Does anyone know what became of Archibald McLellan's collection? (McLellan Galleries).

http://www.scottish-places.info/people/famousfirst1507.html

Good point, DavidT. The B-listed McLellan Galleries, built in 1856, currently languish and deteriorate in a very bleak Sauchiehall Street. According to one art expert writing in the Herald this year:

QUOTE
Long-term solutions for the revival of the McLellan Galleries fortunes, a subject aired by Phil Miller in his Inside Track column last week, are very much the desired objective of the developing campaign of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts (RGI).

As Glasgow s only purpose-built galleries they are in a league of their own. Can we let another decade of disappearance from public view lead to their ultimate demise, beyond the ken even of the upcoming generation?

They are in fine condition. There is a plethora of proposals for their re-use, and they are ideally positioned to support the widely recognised need for the regeneration of Sauchiehall Street. What is required is a strategy and a management structure to ensure a sustainable economic future for them. The avowed and preferred option of Glasgow City Council is that they remain an arts venue. Nonetheless they are currently surplus to requirements.

We have neither the capacity nor the resources to take on the McLellan galleries, was the blunt comment by a senior Glasgow Life officer. A disgraceful lack of aspiration, was the subsequent comment from a Glasgow Life board member.

Both comments accurately reflect the galleries predicament and the implicit challenge. Since the galleries were dropped from Glasgow Life s portfolio in 2007 there has been no-one in their driving seat. ...

Full article here:
http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/agenda-reopen-mclellan-galleries.21037882

As for McLellan's collection, I'd need to look into it a bit more, but I believe that most of the works were transferred to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. However, as you say about history repeating, I do recall that about half of the recent Essence of Beauty exhibition at the Kelvingrove was made up of works from the McLellan collection and, of course, any Glaswegian who wanted to see them had to http://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=23579.

GG.

Posted by: guest 21st Dec 2013, 08:51pm

...it is the 'essence of beauty' exhibition that is currently on tour (in America) that gave them the idea of more touring collections... It is interesting to note that it has no where near made the money they were hoping for.

On the other hand the 'Jack Vettriano' retrospective and all 'loans in' (ie. getting them to Glasgow) in Kelvingrove, is the money spinner of the decade!

Posted by: Guest 26th Dec 2013, 01:52am

Lets hope that the committee in Edinburgh see sense and ensure that the Burrell Collection is protected in the manner Sir William Burrell wished.

Posted by: GG 26th Dec 2013, 11:24pm

QUOTE (ashfield @ 19th Dec 2013, 10:37am) *
Spot on GG, what is it our administrators are seeing ( not you tongue.gif ) that we are all missing here? Apart from one (suspect) post, I think don't think anybody has been supporting this course of action.

And we can't blame Westminster this time rolleyes.gif

We absolutely can't blame Westminster, Ashfield. As you may recall, it was only in 1997 that a Westminster inquiry (held in Glasgow at a cost of about £500,000) reviewed largely the same evidence currently being seen at Holyrood, with the lord commissioners deciding then to protect the Burrell Collection.

As for the administrators seeing something, in actual fact, I believe that it is their inability to consider the moral issues with integrity which is causing them to act in such a callous manner. But it's not only moral issues, instead we have seen considerable backtracking by administrators on the alleged economic rationale, even since they formulated their plans over the summer. As the Sunday Times reported just over a week ago, a Glasgow Life boss was recently reported in the Apollo, an international art magazine, as admitting that a much-vaunted "tour will not raise cash".

GG.

Posted by: Guest 28th Dec 2013, 07:41am

Jack Vettriano at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum?

That's got to be a joke. And not a particularly humorous one.

Posted by: GG 28th Dec 2013, 09:24pm

QUOTE (DavidT @ 20th Dec 2013, 10:25am) *
History repeating? Going back in time a little. Does anyone know what became of Archibald McLellan's collection? (McLellan Galleries).

http://www.scottish-places.info/people/famousfirst1507.html

DavidT, I just noticed this letter to the Herald a couple of days ago from a Helensburgh resident, concerning the future of the McLellan Galleries:

QUOTE
For the first time in seven years, the McLellan Galleries in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street housed an art exhibition when the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts hosted a very successful Christmas show. This served to remind the visiting public that this wonderful space is neglected in the plans of Glasgow City Council.

Meanwhile, the Burrell is to close for refurbishment from 2016 to 2020 and there has been controversy over plans to override the terms of Sir William Burrell’s will that his collection should stay within the city boundaries and not be loaned out.

If part of the Burrell Collection were to be on display in the McLellan Galleries this would meet the terms of his will and allow the public continued access to these works.

2014 will be an important year for Scotland with the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games among the attractions drawing visitors to Scotland and Glasgow. Why not use the McLellan Galleries in the centre of Glasgow to showcase the great art of the city? Art from the Burrell Collection, Kelvingrove, the Transport Museum and the various sites celebrating Charles Rennie Mackintosh could persuade visitors to visit the many attractions just outside the city centre. Each of these museums has art in storage which is rarely on public view.
We have the artwork and the resource in the McLellan Galleries. Let’s use it.

The letter contains at least two factual errors worth mentioning:
  1. That "the Burrell is to close for refurbishment from 2016 to 2020". This has not yet been decided, contrary to much of the official spin circulating in the media, including from the relevant committee convener herself.
  2. That if "the Burrell Collection were to be on display in the McLellan Galleries this would meet the terms of his will". This is wrong on two counts, in that (a) Sir William insisted that the whole collection be kept together, and that (b) the whole collection must be viewed in a rural setting.
GG.

Posted by: DavidT 28th Dec 2013, 10:49pm

Well spotted GG. It shows that these matters are in the public consciousness even if certain parties would like to keep it as low profile as possible. Even if there are factual errors I would agree with the writer's sentiment.

Posted by: GG 2nd Jan 2014, 05:56pm

Hi DavidT, I would completely agree with you (and the general sentiment of the letter writer) that the priority should be to restore the McLellan Galleries to its former glory and put it to good use. However, as we see regarding a great many abandoned causes in the city, decisions are made by a limited number of privileged individuals who rarely have the wider interests of the people of Glasgow as a guiding motive. It's worth mentioning that, as the McLellan Galleries neglect causes deterioration of council-owned property, at the other end of Sauchiehall Street Glasgow City Council will be spending £80 million of public money on http://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=20441&st=45.

Found the following short article in the ET from May 2012, regarding interest from the Green Party on the future of the Galleries (McLellan!).

QUOTE
Greens plea over galleries

Action needs to be taken to bring Glasgow s McLellan Galleries back into use, say the Green Party. Candidates contesting tomorrow's city council election say the Sauchiehall Street centre has been closed to the public for years and is now in need of urgent repair.

Green councillor Nina Baker is demanding council arms length company City Property explains what she describes as its failure to manage the gallery properly.

She said: "The Sauchiehall Street entrance to the Galleries is looking very shabby. I have been told that because Glasgow Life don't want it, the city shouldn't let it out to any competing gallery use either. I think that is a nonsense."

GG.

Posted by: carmella 6th Jan 2014, 06:53pm

That's another thing, how long have the Buchanan Galleries been opened, I really can't remember and I love them, in fact I'd have to say that Buchanan Street is my own personal shopping faovurite, and I never go there barring I have lunch at the Buchanan Galleries, followed by a wee bit of retail therapy.

I often think those who live in and near to Glasgow City Centre are so lucky, because the shopping is just terrific, I wish I lived closer.

It just doesn't seem to me that the Buchanan Galleries should need reburbishing, but then again, perhaps they've been there longer than I thought, can anyone remember when it was built?

Posted by: Scotsman 7th Jan 2014, 10:51am

It was in the ET yesterday that the committee members looking into this at the moment are themselves now saying that the £45 MILLION to repair the leaky Burrell roof is way too costly. Surely someone has to be held to account here and we need to find out where this ridiculous figure came from??

Posted by: GG 7th Jan 2014, 10:49pm

QUOTE (carmella @ 6th Jan 2014, 07:10pm) *
[...]It just doesn't seem to me that the Buchanan Galleries should need reburbishing, but then again, perhaps they've been there longer than I thought, can anyone remember when it was built?

QUOTE
Buchanan Galleries is a shopping centre located in the central area of Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland. Construction began in 1996 and the building opened to the public on 31 March 1999. Costing £250 million, it is one of the largest city centre shopping developments in the United Kingdom, boasting an internal retail space of nearly 56,000 m². The building adjoins onto the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and could be classified as the first urban megastructure to be built in Glasgow city centre since the infamous Anderston Centre of the early 1970s.

Hi Carmella, I was there that day in March 1999, to take photos for Glasgow Guide. The place was very, very busy. I remember most the old-fashioned entertainment and the huge queues to get on the escalators. I've attached some photos from the day.

P.S. I should not have referred to the upcoming work as a "refurbishment"! It's actually a massive expansion – can you believe that a huge shopping mall is expanding at a time of rapid decline in spending power and huge expansion of online retailing? Some academic experts have derided the expansion plan as pure wishful thinking. Generally, private businesses are free to do what they want, but surely not when they have acquired £80 million of public money. The move is actually a predatory tactic by the BG owners to consolidate their share of retail in Glasgow city centre. It's widely rumoured that the owners of the rival St Enoch centre are so disgusted by the behaviour of Glasgow City Council members and officials that they have decided to sell up and move on.

GG.














 

Posted by: GG 7th Jan 2014, 11:16pm

QUOTE (Scotsman @ 7th Jan 2014, 11:08am) *
It was in the ET yesterday that the committee members looking into this at the moment are themselves now saying that the £45 MILLION to repair the leaky Burrell roof is way too costly. Surely someone has to be held to account here and we need to find out where this ridiculous figure came from??

Well spotted, Scotsman. The ET story is actually just a cut-n-paste job from a much more professional and in-depth article that was published in the Sunday Times the day before. The truncated ET version (of course) omitted the bulk of the criticism of the deluded proposal, and actually gave more words to the Glasgow Life response than it did to the conclusion of the MSP on the Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Bill Committee. Here's what the SNP politician actually told the Sunday Times:

QUOTE
"I too was concerned at the cost of £45m, bearing in mind that the Kelvingrove refurbishment cost £29m and they raised £2.5m from sponsorship and donations. The major work at the Burrell is a complete new roof and removal of lecture theatre to create new gallery space. Both of which will be costly - but £45m?"

The "I too" at the beginning of the quote may mean that more of the MSPs on the committee are be about to 'jump ship' following repeated allegations that Glasgow Life has been less than transparent over how it arrived at the exorbitant figure. Last month, the quango declined a request by the Sunday Times to provide a breakdown of its calculations ... so much for accountability of a publicly-funded body. In the same article, Michael Daley, from Art-Watch UK, added:

QUOTE
"If you or I went to the bank to get funding for some project, we'd be expected to produce an itemised account of the estimated costs, but talking to the Glasgow Life officers I got no indication of even a broadbrush breakdown of the costs. Crucially, no figure was volunteered for the roof repairs, which are clearly the most important and urgent part of any programme of 'refreshing' the museum's facilities."

A full vote on the issue is expected to take place in the Scottish parliament later this month, but it's starting to look like SNP politicians are beginning to realise that there are dangers ahead in giving carte blanche to the project promoters. Let's hope for some common-sense and balance from the Holyrood debate. huh.gif

GG.

Posted by: GG 7th Jan 2014, 11:46pm

Forgot to mention that the Financial Times last week had an interview with Dr Nicholas Penny, director of the National Gallery in London, who mentioned the ongoing controversy surrounding the future plans for the Burrell Collection.

QUOTE
A traditionalist who is so defiant he is radical, Penny has, since his appointment, argued against crazes for expensive blockbusters ("it's not a beauty competition"), contemporary art wings in museums ("deadly . . . the same white walls with the same loud, large, obvious, instantly recognisable products lined up on them") and the trend for collections being sent on global tours - a hazardous "short-term fix", he noted at the end of last year when advising against the possibility of Glasgow's Burrell Collection travelling, in contravention of William Burrell's will. "What is very often forgotten in discussions of this kind is the moral advantage and tangible [if not always immediate] benefit of a declared preference for honouring the wishes of the donor," he commented. "Real concern for the future is always more persuasive in those who have a genuine feeling for the past."

Seems strange that top-quality English-based newspapers are keeping this story going when the Scottish quality newspapers have dropped it for months.

GG.

Posted by: carmella 9th Jan 2014, 05:45am

Excellent pictures and coverage here GG. I agree with you about the English newspapers.

It's an ongoing story seems strange to me.

Posted by: Rab 13th Jan 2014, 06:52pm

Words of wisdom. http://ssa.nls.uk/film/T0576

Pity we can't see the whole film.

Posted by: GG 13th Jan 2014, 09:14pm

Great find, Rab. Dr Honeyman's deliberation at the end of the clip – that the Burrell Collection would need effective marketing and promotion to be successful – was prescient. One of the most frequent and strident claims made against the council and Glasgow Life is that they have consistently failed to market the collection effectively, unlike, for example, the Wallace Collection in London which benefits greatly from first-class marketing support and development.

Funnily enough, although he did much to help secure the collection for the city, it was Dr Honeyman who incurred Sir William's wrath in the early 1950s when the then Director of Glasgow's Museums and Galleries transported two Burrell Collection paintings to Switzerland against the written will of the shipping magnate. Sir William was furious at Dr Honeyman's flagrant flouting of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Burrells and Glasgow Corporation, and the pair exchanged heated letters which ended with Dr Honeyman promising the following:

QUOTE
" [...] in view of your [Sir William's] strongly expressed attitude to lending you may be assured there will be no further loans overseas, and that requests for loans within Scotland and England will be closely scrutinized, but rarely granted.''

At least, and unlike the present incumbents of city chambers, Dr Honeyman had the sense and decency to admit when he was wrong.

GG.

Posted by: carmella 15th Jan 2014, 08:02am



On a similar matter, this is the building (built 1978) to house the collections of art from Sir Robert and Lisa, Lady Sainsbury who collected art in various forms, not unlike Sr.William Burrell. This building was the first major work by the architect who designed the Gherkin in London, Norman Foster.

This is the closest I can find to the Glasgow Building - no worries here about sending the art around the world to 'put a new roof' on the building.

In 1973 Lord and Lady Sainsbury gifted their collection to the University of East Anglia, once again the building was specifically built for purpose.

I just think Glasgow City Coouncil, are not only misguided, but they should be ashamed of themselves.

Just a thought.

Interesting link to a visual tour.

http://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/sainsbury-centre-for-visual-arts-interiors/

Posted by: DavidT 16th Jan 2014, 04:39pm

A couple of pics from the Burrell today.
Tarpaulin on show just through the doorway...





Posted by: DavidT 16th Jan 2014, 04:41pm

And buckets on the water stained floor...


Posted by: ashfield 16th Jan 2014, 05:35pm

QUOTE (DavidT @ 16th Jan 2014, 04:58pm) *
And buckets on the water stained floor...



I wonder, from where in the world did Burrell get those eyebrow.gif

Posted by: GG 16th Jan 2014, 07:26pm

http://www.poundland.co.uk/black-bucket-12-litres.


£45 million to fix a roof – £1 for a bucket! smartass.gif

GG.

Posted by: bilbo.s 16th Jan 2014, 07:33pm

Ferr enufski, GG.... but they dae need mair than wan bucket !

An' anurra hing - ah widnae fancy bein´ aroon when yon tarpaulin gets fu' !

Posted by: Rab 16th Jan 2014, 08:35pm

QUOTE (ashfield @ 16th Jan 2014, 05:52pm) *
I wonder, from where in the world did Burrell get those eyebrow.gif


I think you will find the Trustees have labelled the tarps as Middle-European C.1470 wink.gif

Posted by: JAGZ1876 16th Jan 2014, 09:13pm

QUOTE (DavidT @ 16th Jan 2014, 04:58pm) *
And buckets on the water stained floor...



Is it true an American billionaire offered £5 million to buy this exhibit laugh.gif

Posted by: Guest 16th Jan 2014, 09:37pm

The last few posts are a fine example of how highly regarded is the Burrell Collection by the members of this board.

Posted by: carmella 16th Jan 2014, 09:53pm

The bucket has taken over from the pile of bricks we remember from years back.

La Bucket as seen in photies - is priceless to wealthy American and Japanese Bucket collectors.

Well done those who spotted those exhibits - applause aroon the hoos!!

Posted by: GG 16th Jan 2014, 11:09pm

If you didn't laugh at this incompetence, you would surely cry! I think I've posted something similar to this before... the following extract from the Sunday Times in 1994 tells how the leaks in the Burrell were first identified in 1989 (25 years ago), but still the problem has not been fixed. You have to wonder whether it is simply incompetence or whether, as experts have postulated, the situation at the Burrell has been deliberately allowed to deteriorate in order to force the Burrell Trustees to capitulate... which they have now done so spectacularly.

QUOTE
Cover-up at the Burrell

The Burrell Collection in Glasgow's Pollok Country Park was hailed as ''one of the most interesting and successful new museum buildings in the country...a museum of great quality'' when it opened in 1983. Now its roof leaks, for reasons the city council cannot explain, and the famous collection of Rodin sculptures have to be clothed in waterproof vests whenever it rains.

One exhibit, Eve After The Fall, might even be damaged as a result of possible corrosion.

Council officials, like The Thinker, the best known of the bronzes, have a lot to ponder. The vast roof, much of it flat, sprung a leak about five years ago. Since then the city has fought a losing battle against the elements. Outside help has now been sought from a firm of building technology specialists.

But the one man it has so far failed to contact is the original architect, Barry Gasson, who won the 1972 competition to build the museum. He seems to have disappeared without trace, as officials admit they do not know when or where he went. ...

Almost comically, considering that the 'repair' bill is now being touted at £45 million, the same article ends with the earnest news that "experts privately estimate repairs to the roof could run to six figures".

GG.

Posted by: DavidT 17th Jan 2014, 08:56am

That article might not be that far off the mark. Knowing the layout of the building as I'm sure many others here do I find it strange that the Rodins are kept directly below part of the tarpaulin area. Do they want to damage them? A few years have passed, but I can recall The Thinker being on the balcony area above the cafe. It is now in the internal courtyard area below the leaky roof. Why? Yes it's a nice spot and it would be ideal if it was dry and safe, but it's obviously not.

Posted by: Tally Rand 17th Jan 2014, 09:33am

QUOTE (JAGZ1876 @ 16th Jan 2014, 09:30pm) *
Is it true an American billionaire offered £5 million to buy this exhibit laugh.gif

Keep it wheesht! The cooncil has been selling them off fur the last twa years. Help me out here. I have been away from Glesga for many a long year but who votes for that Argentinian Grand Council of Fascists that are running the city for the benifit of Evita and the likes of her.

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 17th Jan 2014, 10:09am

Well, with that leaking roof at least there's no danger of a sudden and mysterious fire coincidentally gettin' rid of something that stood in the way of progressing a plan as has happened too many times in Glasgow's not too distant past. cool.gif

Posted by: ashfield 17th Jan 2014, 10:29am

QUOTE (TeeHeeHee @ 17th Jan 2014, 10:26am) *
Well, with that leaking roof at least there's no danger of a sudden and mysterious fire coincidentally gettin' rid of something that stood in the way of progressing a plan as has happened too many times in Glasgow's not too distant past. cool.gif

Wrong kind of security consultants involved laugh.gif

Posted by: Rab 17th Jan 2014, 06:51pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 16th Jan 2014, 09:54pm) *
The last few posts are a fine example of how highly regarded is the Burrell Collection by the members of this board.

Try reading some of the past 18 pages and you will find out how wrong you are. rolleyes.gif

Posted by: Guest 21st Jan 2014, 08:10am

The Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Bill final stage debate takes place today, in Holyrood.

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/64720.aspx

Posted by: Guest-MandH 21st Jan 2014, 10:28am

The debate is now irrelevant given that officials in Glasgow have already deemed that the conditions of Burrell's bequest regarding borrowing should be trumped by a wholesale contempt for the entire process.

QUOTE
Made in China: an imperial Ming vase

Opens on 12 April 2014 at the Burrell Collection, Glasgow This Spotlight tour is supported by BP and is organised to support the BP exhibition: Ming: 50 years that changed China at the British Museum. The tour will feature an iconic blue-and-white Ming vase from the British Museum to be displayed alongside regional collections of Ming in four partner museums across the UK. Contemporary artists will be invited to create new work in response to the vase to be shown alongside it.

http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/press/press-releases/british-museum-launches-major-exhibition-celebrating-chinas-ming.html

Posted by: Guest 21st Jan 2014, 04:37pm

QUOTE
The debate is now irrelevant given that officials in Glasgow have already deemed that the conditions of Burrell's bequest regarding borrowing should be trumped by a wholesale contempt for the entire process.

That is utter nonsense. Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council can do nothing to change the terms of Sir William Burrell's bequest without the backing of the Scottish Parliament.

Posted by: Guest-MandH 21st Jan 2014, 06:43pm

Those with an interest in the history behind the decision reached today may find some resolution -- though little satisfaction -- in a letter sent from Glasgow to the Sunday Times in 1997. The letter was written by a highly-respected and experienced museum professional in response to a quite outrageous article written by none other than Joan McAlpine, the convenor of the Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Committee at the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh. I am sure the contents require no additional commentary.

QUOTE
In reference to Joan McAlpine's article, Glasgow's Jewel is Dulled by Neglect (Ecosse, February 2), the war of attrition against the trustees of the Burrell Collection is as scandalous as it is unjustified. The Burrell, like the People's Palace Museum, is failing not because of intransigence by the trustees but because of the seeming incompetence of Julian Spalding and his chief curator, Mark O'Neill. The static nature of the displays and the abysmal lack of interpretation of the exhibits at the Burrell is their responsibility for, as Spalding with his customary diplomacy reminds the trustees, "it has nothing to do with them". Bad transport, third-rate merchandising and an inefficient and overpriced cafe are a recipe for failure entirely of their concoction.

The Burrell, like any other museum, is only as good as its curators, who in turn can only function properly in an atmosphere conducive to creative work. The atmosphere in Glasgow museums is more likely to induce a nervous breakdown. All departments of Glasgow district council are facing savage cuts and these have generally been handled in as humane and sensitive a manner as circumstances will permit. But the cuts in Glasgow museums have exposed the tip of an iceberg of demoralisation which has existed since Spalding's arrival. Consider, for example, the systematic shedding of senior curatorial staff which began with his appointment. The present malaise cannot be blamed on his predecessors, for the staff which last week voted unanimously their complete no-confidence in his professional ability are substantially his own appointees.

Threats by Spalding to "mothball" the Burrell if he does not have his legal way with the trustees should be treated with contempt; besides, most of us thought he had done that already. O'Neill's self-acclaimed "exciting new displays" at the People's Palace caused attendances at that popular museum to plummet from 446,000 in 1990 to less than half that in 1996. Instead of being held to account for this disastrous decline, he has been promoted. As Spalding's protege he is now in charge of all curatorial services, yet instead of demonstrating some enthusiasm for a job which has been virtually handed to him gift-wrapped, he can barely conceal his ennui at the idea of being asked by your reporter to get some of the Burrell treasures out of store.

His statement that "international experts in preserving wood and stained glass are a luxury the council can no longer afford" and Spalding's that "there is not enough year-round work for specialists" are either the product of ignorance or a crude attempt to deceive the public, which must be totally refuted. Apart from the famous collection of medieval glass, the Burrell also houses the only specialist collection of Scottish 19th-and 20th-century stained glass. This amounts to more than 200 panels, only one of which has thus far received any conservation. Many were either collected or purchased in a damaged condition and without expert conservation cannot be placed on show in Glasgow, much less loaned to any other location. If Spalding thinks he can get these conserved cheaper by buying in expertise, he knows as little about that subject as he does about interpersonal relationships.

Instead of persecuting staff and trustees, Glasgow's politicians should call off this destructive process and cut their losses by getting rid of this deadly duo before the expense and self-inflicted damage become irreversible and someone has to call in the auditors.

Michael Donnelly
Deputy curator
People's Palace, 1975-90
Glasgow

Posted by: guest 21st Jan 2014, 07:05pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-25825305

...what a sad day...

Posted by: DavidT 21st Jan 2014, 07:42pm

Hello Guest MandH, does this mean that Burrell's Ming Dynasty collection will tour with the other items once the exhibition leaves Glasgow?

Posted by: GG 21st Jan 2014, 11:23pm

QUOTE (guest @ 21st Jan 2014, 07:22pm) *
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-25825305

...what a sad day...

A very sad day indeed, Guest. I think, though, we are looking at a very well-planned, highly-resourced and fully-committed undermining of the democratic process here ... without a doubt, city politicians and officials have learned a lesson from the George Square PR debacle. That said, I am quite dumbfounded by the revelations made by Guest-MandH on this topic today. I only hope that this matter is taken up by someone – the Burrell family? – in a position to effectively challenge this charade.

As for a meaningful debate of the proposed Bill by politicians, the photos below of an empty parliament during the 'debate' show the utter contempt MSPs had for consideration of the wishes of Sir William and Lady Burrell. And people wonder why we have lost faith in politicians...?




GG.

Posted by: Guest 22nd Jan 2014, 12:35pm

Yet again another example of a political process that simply can not abide by a legal agreement willingly entered into. Mr. Burrell seems to have been quite clear about his gifting terms. I suppose it is easy for Glasgow Council or any other group of hack politicians to enter into a legal and binding contract as they know from the start that the contract means nothing to them and they will d*mn well do as they please.

Posted by: Guest-MandH 22nd Jan 2014, 02:19pm

QUOTE (DavidT @ 21st Jan 2014, 07:59pm) *
Hello Guest MandH, does this mean that Burrell's Ming Dynasty collection will tour with the other items once the exhibition leaves Glasgow?

That is unlikely to happen in this particular case as the Ming artefacts are looked after by the trustees of the British Museum. Although those same trustees have encountered a fair degree of criticism in the past for their overseas lending policies, it is inconceivable that they would enter into the somewhat tacky blockbuster touring agreement that is in store for the plumb Burrell pieces.

Posted by: Scotsman 22nd Jan 2014, 03:02pm

That really is a very poor turnout.... surely the Glasgow MSPs should have been there.... and Johann Lamont should have at least had the decency to show up for a debate about a museum in her own area of Pollok.

Too much to ask for a man who gave his lifes work to Glasgow??

Posted by: Guest 22nd Jan 2014, 05:18pm

QUOTE
... and Johann Lamont should have at least had the decency to show up for a debate about a museum in her own area of Pollok.

Perhaps Ms Lamont supported the bill and knew that it would go through with or without her presence. I cannot imagine that you would have applauded her had she spoken for the bill in the debate.

Posted by: guest 22nd Jan 2014, 07:17pm

In my opinion, there never has been a proper debate about the real issues. It has been an exercise of manipulating and re-interpreting 'language' with the help of the experts on exploiting any linguistic ambiguity, lawyers, as this was the only way to stand a chance in 're-writing the rules'.

It is overall a sad example for a number of people (who as key figures in being the custodians of cultural heritage should act on it's- not their- behalf) who basically care more about ticking the boxes for marketing and 'business' over 'ethic's. Good for business- not so good for safe guarding heritage (museums).

The pictures above of the empty seats say it all, really. The result was probably already clear before the debate began, hence the mass absence. I wouldn't be surprised if the only attendees were all the individuals in favour of the alterations. I wouldn't call this a debate- a formality more like.

Lets hope that they will consult and listen to the wide range of available experts as to how to do all of this safely and in the interest of the Collection's preservation.

And I hope that all the expressed worries and fears of potentially harmful consequences to the collection will be proven to have been un-founded in the future.


Posted by: Guest 22nd Jan 2014, 07:30pm

'...The Burrell, like the People's Palace Museum, is failing not because of intransigence by the trustees but because of the seeming incompetence of Julian Spalding and his chief curator, Mark O'Neill...
... Glasgow's politicians should call off this destructive process and cut their losses by getting rid of this deadly duo before the expense and self-inflicted damage become irreversible and someone has to call in the auditors...' (Guest-MandH: Michael Donnally, 1997)

Mark O'Neill went on to become Head of Glasgow Museums in 1998, and since 2010?11? is the 'Director of Policy and Research for Glasgowlife'.

!?!

Posted by: GG 22nd Jan 2014, 10:07pm

QUOTE (guest @ 22nd Jan 2014, 07:34pm) *
[...] Lets hope that they will consult and listen to the wide range of available experts as to how to do all of this safely and in the interest of the Collection's preservation. [...]

Unfortunately, guest, that's not going to happen, and here's why:
QUOTE
A CODE TO REGULATE LENDING FROM THE BURRELL COLLECTION BETWEEN THE TRUSTEES OF SIR WILLIAM BURRELL (“THE TRUSTEES”), GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL (“THE COUNCIL) AND CULTURE AND SPORT GLASGOW (OPERATING AS “GLASGOW LIFE AND GLASGOW MUSEUMS”) AS AGENT FOR THE COUNCIL

6.9 The fees of the Expert shall be borne by the parties as follows:-

6.9.1 Where the matter is referred to the Expert by either Glasgow Museums or the Trustees for a loan of an Object(s) in accordance with Paragraph 4.3 and the Expert decides the loan should proceed as recommended by Glasgow Museums, then the Trustees shall make payment of the Expert’s fees. If the Expert decides the loan should not be made, then Glasgow Museums shall make payment of the Expert’s fees.

6.9.2 Where the matter is referred to the Expert by the Trustees or Glasgow Museums for a loan of an Object(s) either within or outwith Great Britain in accordance with Paragraph 3.10 irrespective of the Expert’s decision on whether the loan should be made or not, Glasgow Museums shall make payment of the Expert’s fees.

6.9.3 Where a decision is referred to arbitration in accordance with Paragraph 6.10, the expenses for the reference to the Expert and the subsequent arbitration shall be referred to the Sheriff for a decision on the appropriate apportionment of the expenses.

6.10 If the Trustees disagree with a decision by the Expert in relation to an application by Glasgow Museums to lend an Object(s) within Great Britain, then they shall be entitled to refer the matter to the Sheriff of Glasgow and Strathkelvin in accordance with the provisions set out in the 1944 Agreement.

6.11. Glasgow Museums and the Trustees will bear all of their own costs for preparation of their respective cases in relation to all references to the Expert or to arbitration in accordance with the 1944 Agreement.

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_Burrell_Collection_Lending_and_Borrowing_Scotland_Bill_Committee/BCLBwe05_Glasgow_Life.pdf

The Burrell Trustees' ability to effectively oppose lendings which they disapprove of is going to quickly diminish as they are forced to meet huge financial bills for experts. It was a monumental failure of the committee not to force Glasgow Life to bear the full costs of experts employed by the Trustees to protect what they view as the legitimate interests of the Collection, irrespective of the outcome of the deliberations of the expert.

GG.

Posted by: farci 23rd Jan 2014, 06:46am

GG you are correct to highlight the loss of influence by the Trustees.

This example highlights the increasing use of Private Bills by councils where they ask the Scottish Parliament to pass legislation in defiance of inconvenient trust arrangements which are not popular with those pesky citizens.

Sorry to mention Edinburgh on this forum but that council is now promoting legislation to build a school on common good land at Portobello after they were refused permission by the Court of Session and when alternative brownfield sites exist.

Posted by: GG 26th Jan 2014, 08:54pm

Farci, no need at all to apologise for mentioning Edinburgh. As you say, this is much more than just a Glasgow problem, and is in fact affecting the whole country. The Burrell proposal was largely ridiculed by experts attending the committee, and the proposers were openly humiliated in Glasgow and in Holyrood for their lack of knowledge, understanding and planning. On top of this, this was virtually no public consultation. But still the Private Bill passed without a problem. The proposers even admitted that there was virtually no chance of them getting a favourable decision in the courts so, as with the common good land at Portobello, Holyrood is being used as a means by which the rich and the privileged can bypass the rule of law and the meaningful democratic process to get their way.

There's a great book out by Michael Sandel, What Money Can't Buy, which discusses in depth the kind of process that is going on at Holyrood. While focused on the US, Sandel shows how government committees are being influenced by a new means of corruption, one that does not involve illegal practices, but instead manages to degrade the tools of government in the public interest by subverting the ends these institutions are meant to pursue.

GG.

Posted by: GG 26th Jan 2014, 09:17pm

Possibly one of the most contentious commentaries on the outcome of the Burrell lending and borrowing bill came for a former lord provost of Glasgow, Michael Kelly, who started a frankly ill-judged article in the Scotsman last week with the following proclamation:

QUOTE
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. This ancient aphorism contains little that is useful to us today. It is, however, well-meaning citizens that cities have to be wary of. Citizens like Sir William Burrell, the eccentric collector who made a bequest of his eclectic pile of treasures and trash to Glasgow. His goodwill was bounded by a number of restrictive conditions that made it an onerous gift to the city. [...]

Mr Kelly, of course, was the lord provost who launched the 'Glasgow's Miles Better' campaign in the same year that the Burrell Collection opened, and from then up until April 2013 he has cited the "pile of treasures and trash" in Pollok Park as one of the city's major cultural assets that helped transform the fortunes of Glasgow.

While there is little merit in dwelling on Mr Kelly's belated intervention, it is worth posting the two follow-up letters to the Scotsman about the article:

QUOTE
The whirling noise you hear in the distance is Sir William Burrell birling in his grave as Holyrood voted unanimously on Tuesday to override the terms of his bequest to the city of Glasgow ­(Michael Kelly, 23 January).

This is but the latest chapter in a long national history of failure to respect the wishes of public benefactors. In Argyll and Bute, the preferred tactic is to accept the bequest of listed buildings, then by neglect to allow them to fall into a state of disrepair. The property is then sold off to developers for a housing project.

The wishes of the dead should be respected, otherwise those alive will find other ways to disperse the fruits of their labours and the nation will be the poorer for it.

The terms of Sir William’s bequest to Glasgow might be onerous, but the city had 
lawyers when the city fathers accepted the gift. The current problems with the Burrell building are the fault of the city council which approved its plans and construction.

The Burrell Collection should stay in Glasgow. The items in the collection are unique. The Edinburgh pandas may be endangered but they are not, yet, unique. Our pair of immigrants left relatives in China for travellers to view in their native habitat.

It is false economics to think that sending the Burrell Collection abroad will generate more income than having visitors come to Scotland to view these treasures.

The McLellan Galleries on Sauchiehall Street is another bequest to the city of Glasgow lying unused and neglected. The Burrell Collection should be rehoused in the McLellan Galleries for the duration of the refurbishment of the museum building. The free admission will more than be made up by the spending of visitors to Glasgow and Scotland. I, therefore, urge Her Majesty to refuse to give Royal ­Assent to this misguided bill.

Mr Black, Helensburgh

QUOTE
Michael Kelly’s article on the Burrell Collection (Perspective, 23 January) fairly has my head birlin’.

On the one hand, he says it is nothing special, and even refers to trash left by Sir William Burrell, but then on the other hand he says it is so good that we must send it winging its way round the world so that foreign viewers will glimpse some of its ­glories and beat a path to Glasgow to see the rest.

I am confused by the former Lord Provost of Glasgow’s mixed messages.

There was no confusion in May 1944, in the banqueting hall of the City Chambers, when Sir William Burrell was granted the freedom of the city, by Lord Provost James Welsh, in recognition of his generosity. Then he was lauded in speeches by the Lord Provost for making Glasgow’s position as having the “best municipally owned art collection in the world, completely unassailable”.

The Lord Provost was also pleased to receive funds from the Burrells so that a museum, designed to house the 
£1 million collection, could be built outside the town centre. Money was also provided to add to the collection from time to time.

Glasses were raised by all the councillors and VIP guests to Sir William and his wife (he always insisted she be recognised as joint benefactor) who did Glasgow proud with this and other gifts. (In 1927, the year of his knighthood, they gave £5,000 to restore Provand’s Lordship, reputedly the city’s oldest house.)

Now we hear the traducing of Sir William’s reputation and taste by the very type of people who gladly accepted his gifts, then failed to build the agreed appropriate place to house them in. Politicians, such as Michael Kelly, now seek to justify their and their predecessors’ failures regarding the Burrell legacy with weasel words.

Worse still, the very specific terms of the Burrell bequest are being dishonoured and changed by a tawdry act of the Scottish Parliament.

Who today would leave 
anything of value to local or national politicians when their word means nothing?

Mr Minogue, Dunfermline

GG.

Posted by: Scotsman 27th Jan 2014, 09:26am

I noticed that someone on his own comments page of Michael Kelly called him.... a small-minded SLAB philistine.... I think that about sums him up for writing the silly story in the first place!!

Posted by: Guest 27th Jan 2014, 06:59pm

http://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/index.php?s=&showtopic=26289&view=findpost&p=3652969 has the right idea...

Letters should be written and sent to the Queen to put an end to the rubber stamped disregard of Sir William Burrell's Will. It is a crappy PR stunt with nonsensical argumentation, ignorance of basic democratic procedures, ethics, economics and the people of Glasgow but most of all to an individual who gave his (and his wife's) incredible gift to the City of Glasgow. The City council and the museum with Glasgow Life as the servicing body (note: Glasgow Life is legally only the body that provides the service of the City Council's museum collections – they are basically an external contractor) are the custodians and not the owners of this collection.

What does this example tell us what to expect with the Scottish Referendum?

Posted by: bilbo.s 27th Jan 2014, 07:31pm

Am I the only one baffled as to why this matter was decided by parliament, and not by the judiciary?

Posted by: TeeHeeHee 28th Jan 2014, 06:55am

I noticed a Headline this morning which informed that Her Majesty should be asked to help in the funding of repairs to several Royal residencies in and around London. Estimated repair costs, including Buck-House, are UK50 Million.

And a leaky Roof in the Burrel will cost 42 Million? cool.gif

Posted by: norrie123 28th Jan 2014, 09:27am

Hi Bilbo.s no your not the only one baffled but if its passed by the government it lets the council off the hook, in my opinion
Bye for now, norrie

Posted by: bilbo.s 28th Jan 2014, 10:16am

QUOTE (norrie123 @ 28th Jan 2014, 10:44am) *
Hi Bilbo.s no your not the only one baffled but if its passed by the government it lets the council off the hook, in my opinion
Bye for now, norrie

Norrie,

I just do not see what it has to do with the government. It seems to me to be a civil law matter.

Posted by: Guest 28th Jan 2014, 12:13pm

This quote from the legal agent for Glasgow City Council might be helpful for Bilbo.s and Norrie 123:

“The only thing that I would add is that my role as the legal agent for the council has been to guide it through the appropriate procedures for seeking the lending and borrowing powers and to have regard to the range of legal issues in charity law, succession law, contract law and so on. It became apparent that the appropriate and competent method of seeking the changes was to promote a private bill, as no other single coherent way would allow the powers to be set out as they are today.”

This statement was made to a meeting of the Scottish Parliamentary committee which considered the Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Bill.

Here is a link to the full report of that meeting:

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=8827&mode=pdf

This view was supported by Professor George Gretton who holds the Lord President Reid Chair of Law at the University of Edinburgh in his submission to the committee at a separate meeting.

Posted by: GG 28th Jan 2014, 10:06pm

QUOTE (bilbo.s @ 27th Jan 2014, 07:48pm) *
Am I the only one baffled as to why this matter was decided by parliament, and not by the judiciary?

Bilbo & Norrie, I think that the restoration/conservation experts at ArtWatch UK probably explained it best http://artwatchuk.wordpress.com/tag/burrell-collection-bill/:

QUOTE
"Because of the clarity and force of Burrell’s explicit wishes and terms of bequest, it had been conceded that no possibility exists of their being overturned or “re-interpreted” in the courts: “As there is no legal remedy which would allow all the restrictions on lending and borrowing to be relaxed, Glasgow City Council must pursue a private bill in order to achieve this end”. If successful, the Council and its cultural satellites would not only breach Burrell’s prohibition on foreign loans but also those against loans within Britain of entire categories of vulnerable works, thereby creating not just a precedent for further general subversions of benefactors’ wishes and terms, but also a potentially lethal one for benefactors’ attempts to protect their art from being subjected to needless risks."

And it's not just the "clarity and force of Burrell’s explicit wishes" that meant the council did everything to avoid legal action, it was the equally forceful and unambiguous stated wishes of the the surviving Burrell family, who are fully firmly behind Sir William's wishes being honoured. Mona Dickinson, a grand-daughter of Mary Burrell, Sir William’s sister, told the Sunday Times:

QUOTE
"I suspect 
they [Glasgow City Council] have tried to smuggle this through. This debate was thoroughly rehearsed 
in 1997 [when the Westminster government effectively upheld Sir William's wishes]. Experts warned then, as now, that every time you wrap and unwrap a tapestry, some sort of damage can occur. It is inevitable. We should leave matters as they are.

GG.

Posted by: GG 28th Jan 2014, 10:18pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 28th Jan 2014, 12:30pm) *
[...] This view was supported by Professor George Gretton who holds the Lord President Reid Chair of Law at the University of Edinburgh in his submission to the committee at a separate meeting.

As I wrote previously, in my opinion, Professor Gretton's most notable contribution to the debate was that he intimated that a legal case could be made that Glasgow City Council was/is already breaking the 'expressed prohibition from Sir William' by loaning delicate, priceless objects from the Burrell's prohibited list (which includes tapestries, pastels, carpets, rugs, lace and needlework) within the UK.

GG.

Posted by: GG 28th Jan 2014, 10:44pm

QUOTE (TeeHeeHee @ 28th Jan 2014, 07:12am) *
... And a leaky Roof in the Burrel will cost 42 Million? cool.gif

THH, I hope you are sitting down ... it's actually 45 Million pounds! yes.gif

GG

Posted by: Guest 29th Jan 2014, 08:30am

QUOTE
As I wrote previously, in my opinion, Professor Gretton's most notable contribution to the debate was that he intimated that a legal case could be made that Glasgow City Council was/is already breaking the 'expressed prohibition from Sir William' by loaning delicate, priceless objects from the Burrell's prohibited list (which includes tapestries, pastels, carpets, rugs, lace and needlework) within the UK.

That is interesting. In my opinion, Professor Gretton’s most notable and thought provoking contribution to the debate was with regard to how long after a bequest is made can it be reasonably expected for its terms to be maintained.

Jackson Carlaw MSP alluded to this point during the final stage debate:

QUOTE
We took evidence on that from Professor George Gretton, who made an interesting point—which was beyond the committee’s brief—with regard to how long after a bequest is made one can reasonably expect its terms to be maintained. Professor Gretton thought that, if we were to have that debate, a period of some 50 years would be reasonable.

Here is a link to the Report of the Meeting of the Parliament 21 January 2014 which includes the final stage debate and Mr Carlaw’s remarks:

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=8833

I was present at the debate and thought both Jackson Carlaw MSP and Fiona Hyslop MSP spoke most eloquently.

Posted by: Guest-MandH 29th Jan 2014, 12:06pm

And please let us not forget that Glasgow council was already planning to break the terms of Burrell's bequest even prior to the imprudent decision by the Scottish parliament.

QUOTE
Opens on 12 April 2014 at the Burrell Collection, Glasgow This Spotlight tour is supported by BP and is organised to support the BP exhibition: Ming: 50 years that changed China at the British Museum. The tour will feature an iconic blue-and-white Ming vase from the British Museum to be displayed alongside regional collections of Ming in four partner museums across the UK. Contemporary artists will be invited to create new work in response to the vase to be shown alongside it.

http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/pres...hinas-ming.html

And then there is this related matter, again pre-dating the decision by the Scottish parliament last week.

QUOTE
Glasgow City Council is requesting tenders for a consultant or consortium led by experienced exhibition and museum designers, to deliver a master plan for the Redisplay and Refurbishment of the Burrell Collection. The interpretation of this internationally recognised collection to a wide audience is key to the successful delivery of the project.

http://scotland.unitedkingdom-tenders.co.uk/54839_Redisplay_and_Refurbishment_of_The_Burrell_Collection_Museum_2014_Glasgow

Posted by: Guest 29th Jan 2014, 07:32pm

On your first point Guest-MandH I would indicate that I am surprised that any organisation would want to exhibit in the Burrell Collection building in its current state.

As to your second point:

QUOTE
Glasgow City Council is requesting tenders for a consultant or consortium led by experienced exhibition and museum designers, to deliver a master plan for the Redisplay and Refurbishment of the Burrell Collection. The interpretation of this internationally recognised collection to a wide audience is key to the successful delivery of the project.

I do not believe that the passage of the Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Bill can come as a surprise to many people. After all, as was observed by GG on this discussion board,

QUOTE
So, we have politicians (Labour, Tory and SNP), the Scottish media (notably the Herald and Scotsman)*, and the Edinburgh elite firmly behind this Bill ...

Apart from the pressure groups, Donor Watch and Art Watch, whose raisons d'etre seem to be to stop all loaning and borrowing of all artworks around the world, and the opposition generated from this board, I have seen little public opposition to the proposition that parts of the Burrell Collection be allowed to tour. In fact, I have seen little public reaction to the proposition.

I am very certain that HM the Queen will not withhold her Royal Assent to the bill as suggested by one contributor, so perhaps it is time to regard this affair as a fait accompli.

Posted by: GG 29th Jan 2014, 09:15pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 29th Jan 2014, 08:47am) *
That is interesting. In my opinion, Professor Gretton’s most notable and thought provoking contribution to the debate was with regard to how long after a bequest is made can it be reasonably expected for its terms to be maintained. [...]

Guest, I am pleased that you raised this point, as it will allow me to illustrate two fundamental problems with the committee process, that:

1. Experts proffered personal opinions outwith their area of expertise, and
2. They were encouraged to do so when it suited the desired outcome.

Professor Gretton was introduced to the committee as a legal expert (which he is in commercial law, property law, trusts, insolvency law, comparative law and legal history). Prof Gretton, no doubt well aware of how these type of committees work, made his position clear very early on when he said that he intended to be "purely legalistic". (In a court setting, of course, the professor would not be allowed the luxury of deviating from the area of his expertise, otherwise the judge or the opposing legal team would make the appropriate interjection.)

However, Professor Gretton, with encouragement from committee members (Joan McAlpine and Mark Griffin), was allowed to offer an eagerly received personal opinion in an area of legislation where he freely admitted he had 'no idea'. If this was not bad enough, another committee member (Jackson Carlaw) later implied that the good professor's personal opinion was more than it was ... i.e. just a personal opinion.

QUOTE
Professor Gretton: That goes back to what I said earlier. There is a general issue in the law about people tying and controlling property long after their death; I think that the law has to put limits on that. The longer the period, the less justifiable are non-variable conditions. The way in which that is dealt with has, however, to be sector specific.

The Convener: There is quite a difference between the National Gallery limit, which is 50 years, and the Scottish national collections’ limit, which is 25 years. Do you have any idea why that might be?

Professor Gretton: I do not.

The Convener: No. Okay.

Professor Gretton: From a personal point of view, I say that 25 years does seem to be a bit short. All right. I will come out with it: 25 years seems a bit short and 50 years seems more reasonable.

The Convener: You think that 50 years seems more reasonable. Okay.

Professor Gretton: I did not want to say that,but I said it. [Laughter.]

And just in case you are in any doubt as to whether Professor Gretton claims expertise in the sector in question, let me refer you to a response he gave before http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3a%6fcSaWq3Ldt4J:www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx%3Fr%3D8510%26mode%3Dpdf+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk:

QUOTE
Mark Griffin: Would you say what would be an appropriate limit [25 years or 50 years]?

Professor Gretton: I will not because I am not an expert in the world of museums, galleries, art and antiquity.

GG.

Posted by: Guest 29th Jan 2014, 09:42pm

While your post #298 on this topic raises some interesting points it does not change the fact that the passage of this Bill is now a fait acompli.

Posted by: Guest-MandH 30th Jan 2014, 04:25pm

QUOTE (Guest @ 29th Jan 2014, 07:49pm) *
In fact, I have seen little public reaction to the proposition.

With respect, perhaps you are not inclined to look in the appropriate places: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/art-expert-issues-warning-over-plan-to-tour-burrell-collection.22075249, http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/the-wrong-move-for-the-burrell-collection.22672475, http://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/news/10092013-burrell-tour-plan-questioned and http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/arts/visual-arts/tiffany-jenkins-home-is-where-the-art-is-1-2953262. The comments sections in most of these publications, and indeed many more, seem awash with public reaction to the proposal.