Museum will be free as long as I'm in charge - council boss

GLASGOW City Council leader Gordon Matheson yesterday vowed to keep the city's Riverside Museum free of charge as long as he remained in office, despite its estimated £1 million annual running costs.

Visitors will pay for one main attraction, the 1896 Glenlee tall ship now moored beside it, dominating the view of the museum from the river.

Mr Matheson shrugged off questions over why the chief transport link to the museum is currently a 500-metre exposed walk from Partick station.

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A bus service will run every 20 minutes between the new building and the city centre and a cross-river ferry will operate between the site and Govan, while parking costs 1 for three hours. He said he was "bursting with pride and gratitude" over the museum. He added: "Welcome to Glasgow, a cultural and economic powerhouse. I feel like a child in a sweetie shop. It doesn't get better than this."

He said officials risked being "trampled by the enthusiasm of visitors all ages who are desperate to see for themselves this architectural masterpiece by Zaha Hadid. Give way to the wow".

He added: "They will come by bus, by underground, by bike, car, skateboard, and even by air.

"They will make this building and collection great. This is the perfect location for this magnificent museum. You can come by car, you can get the bus from George Square, you can cross from Govan by ferry. This is an accessible, magnificent building that will be hugely popular."

Dr Christopher Mason, head of the Clyde Maritime Trust, said the Glenlee, cost 650,000 to run, with 75 per cent raised commercially and the rest in council funding. They wanted to further reduce the role of public funds, he said. "We set the price so a family of two adults and two children can get in for 10."

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