Burrell Collection tour could start at London’s British Museum

One of Glasgow’s most important art collections could be on its way to London, as the first stop in a proposed world tour.

• British Museum in talks to host Burrell Collection for six months in 2016

• Collection at centre of legal wrangle over rules forbidding overseas loans

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• 8000-piece collection’s home set for four year renovation project

The British Museum have met with staff from the Burrell Collection over possible loans of some of the 8000 pieces currently housed in Glasgow’s Pollok Park.

The Collection’s home is in need of four years of major renovation work beginning in 2016, and Glasgow City Council are keen for the works to go on tour in a bid to raise the profile of the city.

A spokeswoman for the British Museum said: “We have had preliminary discussions with colleagues at the Burrell Collection about the possibility of temporarily displaying a selection of objects from the Burrell Collection in 2016.”

The Burrell Collection was gifted to the city by shipping industrialist William Burrell, under strict condition that the works not be transported overseas for fear of damaged. Glasgow City Council controversially challenged the rules around the bequest, and a bill before the Scottish Parliament could allow the Collection to hit the road in time for the start of renovation works.

The body in charge of Glasgow’s museums said that a British Museum show would be a coup for the city. A spokesman for Glasgow Life said: “Discussions about a tour are still at an early stage, but given our already strong partnership with the British Museum, we would like to draw on their wealth of knowledge and expertise in delivering significant redisplays of important collections.

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“If we achieve our ambitions with regard to a refurbishment and amendment of lending restrictions, it would be a real coup for Glasgow to secure an exhibition within the British Museum – and provide the perfect platform ahead of an overseas tour.”