A Bill to give Glasgow City Council additional powers to lend the Burrell Collection – including overseas – has been endorsed by a Scottish Parliament committee.
The purpose of the Bill is to provide Glasgow City Council with additional powers to lend, including lending overseas, any items forming part of the Burrell Collection and to receive items on loan from others in both cases with agreement of the charity trustees of the Sir William Burrell Trust in accordance with a published code.
In a recently published report, the Burrell Collection (Lending and Borrowing) (Scotland) Bill Committee said it accepted there are risks and ethical questions inherent in altering the terms of Sir William’s bequest, but it believes that the time has come to allow his Collection to be seen by a wider audience. It recommended that the general principles of the Bill be agreed to.
If supported by the full Parliament the Bill will now proceed as a Private Bill.
Committee convener Joan McAlpine MSP said:
“Our Committee is persuaded that it is sometimes appropriate to depart from the wishes of benefactors, particularly if the circumstances which may have led them to adopt a certain position have changed.
“The Committee supports the aim of raising the Collection’s profile and increasing access to its treasures, believing that Burrell wished the Collection to be shown. The focus of the Committee’s decision in this matter is not whether Burrell would have wished to share the collection through loans (we know that he did) but whether it is safe, nowadays, to do so outside Great Britain. As such, we are agreed that the general principles of the Bill be agreed to.”
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