Leader comment: Monarch secure in the Glen at last

Sir John Leighton led the fundraising drive to secure the Monarch of the Glen.
Sir John Leighton led the fundraising drive to secure the Monarch of the Glen.
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The National Galleries of Scotland’s acquisition of the Monarch of the Glen is the happy ending we had hoped for.

Landseer’s masterpiece is quintessentially Scottish, and the news the painting has been secured for the nation is extremely satisfying.

Any criticism that the National Galleries had to put in money to complete the £4 million deal should be brushed aside.

This is an extremely important artwork - iconic in the true sense of the word - and the Galleries’ funds have been entirely appropriately used to help make such an important addition to the national collection.

Director-general Sir John Leighton has rightly said that using a “relatively modest chunk” of the institution’s funds was perfectly reasonable.

There is further cause to celebrate in that the picture is to go on tour across the country, having been on display at the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh since the millennium, and latterly at the nearby Scottish National Gallery.

That is exactly what should happen, so that the maximum number of people can view Monarch at first hand - and see what all the fuss has been about.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland’s tour of the country since 2013 has been a great success, and this should follow suit.

However, it is likely to generate an extra benefit in not only pulling in visitors in its own right, but in introducing them to collections around the country where the painting will be displayed.

That should provide an important boost to galleries across Scotland, bringing a new audience to the other artistic riches on show.