Art School Restoration Considered

MSPs will consider how Glasgow School of Art will be rebuilt in the wake of a major blaze at the building.


Members of Holyrood's Education and Culture Committee will today hold a special one off session examining how the school, which was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh more than a century ago, will be restored.

In addition the committee will also hear about the support being put in place for the students who were affected by the fire.

After the blaze at the art school, which was completed in 1909, the Scottish Fire Rescue Service said that 90% of the historic building's infrastructure and 70% of its contents had been saved.

But as well as the loss of the library, many students lost pieces of work they had been finishing for their final degree art show.

Speaking ahead of this morning's meeting committee convener Stewart Maxwell said: "What the Glasgow School of Art has added to Scotland's cultural landscape cannot be overestimated. It has been the starting point for some of the world's leading artistic talent and an inspiration for many more.

"The pictures we saw were devastating and we were all saddened when it looked like Mackintosh's masterpiece would be lost. However, it is thanks to the fantastic work of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service that so much of the infrastructure and contents were saved.

"Our committee will hear from those involved in the restoration of the building and support of students to find out what is being done to ensure that Glasgow School of Art remains one of Scotland's cultural icons and can continue to inspire future generations of artists at home and abroad.''

The committee will take evidence from Professor Tom Inns, the director Glasgow School of Art, Sam De Santis, the president of Glasgow School of Art Student Association, along with Diana Murray, joint chief executive and Ranald MacInnes, head of heritage management from Historic Scotland, which will play a leading role in the salvage, storage and restoration of the building.

The Scottish Government has already pledged it will provide up to £5 million of match funding for the restoration of the building and will also work with the Glasgow School of Art to develop a bursary scheme to support the students who have lost their work as a result of the fire.