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Burrell Collection one step closer to world tour

Scottish Parliament unanimously approves bill to allow art from Glasgow to be lent internationally, Royal Assent expected in March

Works from Glasgow’s Burrell Collection could be coming to New York after the Scottish Parliament unanimously approved a bill on 21 January to allow the art to be lent internationally. The Private Bill was introduced by Glasgow City Council, which runs the collection of 8,000 objects, ranging from ancient Chinese ceramics to Impressionist paintings. They were bequeathed by shipping merchant William Burrell, who died in 1958.

One hundred highlights from the Burrell, which include key paintings by Degas and Cézanne, will probably go to six countries, with venues in America, Canada, France, Russia, Japan, Australia and Qatar being considered. In the US, initial discussions have been held with Atlanta’s High Museum of Art, as well as two New York museums, the Metropolitan and the Frick.

At present the terms of Burrell’s will allow objects to be lent within the UK, but not abroad, because he feared they could be damaged at sea. Royal Assent for the bill to permit international loans is expected in early March. The proposed tour would coincide with a £45m project to renovate the collection’s Glasgow building, which should start in 2016 and take an estimated four years to complete.

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