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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

Glasgow School of Art Focuses on Restoration

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Staff members at the Glasgow School of Art have begun the laborious process of removing valuable items for restoration, following a devastating fire at the art school’s historic Mackintosh building last week. Employees have been seen carrying what appear to be fragments of picture frames and wooden panels out of the building, according to a BBC report. Many feared the world famous Mackintosh building, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and completed in 1907, would be completely destroyed, but firefighters were able to save 90 percent of the structure and 70 percent of the contents.

Yet despite this impressive work by emergency crews, the wooden Mackintosh library and its contents have been almost completely destroyed. Fire crews have spent the past few days inspecting the structure to make sure that there are no remaining pockets of flame, before handing the building back to the school.

According to an art school spokesperson, the priority will be to remove as much of the students’ work as possible, including pieces created for their final degree show. In a statement released on Sunday, the school said that they will hire expert conservationists to restore any work that has been damaged. “Whatever it takes to support the students, we will do,” the spokesperson said.

Since the disaster, the art school has received a number of offers of financial and practical help. “The Governors, staff and students of The Glasgow School of Art have been touched by the huge outpouring of sympathy following the fire that affected the Mackintosh Building,” reads a statement on the school’s website.

A sculpture of a firefighter by Glasgow School of Art alumnus Kenny Hunter outside the building has been turned into a tribute, with an anonymously added “Thank You” sign.

— Ashitha Nagesh (@UK_ARTINFO)

(Photo: A sculpture by Glasgow School of Art alumnus Kenny Hunter outside the school; via @GSofA on Twitter)

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