Glasgow School of Art: focus now on restoration

FIREFIGHTERS are continuing to sift through the debris following the blaze which tore through Glasgow School of Art.

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  • Investigations into the blaze are continuing
    Investigations into the blaze are continuing
  • Investigations into the blaze are continuing
  • Investigations into the blaze are continuing
  • Investigations into the blaze are continuing

Staff have started the painstaking process of removing valuable items in need of urgent attention.

They have been seen carrying what look like parts of picture frames and wooden panels out of the fire ravaged building.

Some have clearly been badly damaged by the blaze while others look to be untouched.

Some pieces have been carefully placed in plastic containers and removed by workers.

Experts will assess all the salvaged items and decide which need urgent attention and which can be treated later.

A crane was brought on to site to allow experts to check the condition of the windows and the exterior of the building.

It had been feared the world-famous Charles Rennie Mackintosh building would be destroyed by the inferno which started in the basement, but quick-thinking firefighters succeeded in saving 90% of the structure and 70% of the contents.

However, the historic Mackintosh library and its contents have been severely damaged.

Fire crews have spent days going through every inch of the structure to ensure there are no remaining pockets of flame. They are also checking the structure to make certain it is safe before handing the building back to the Art School.

An Art School spokeswoman said: "The fire service will not release the building until they are certain another fire will not break out and that the building is safe.

"Until that happens, we cannot implement any plans."

Some Mackintosh furniture was removed as the blaze started but much remains in the building - including work that fine art students had prepared for their degree show.

The spokeswoman said the priority will be removing as much of that as possible once the building is deemed safe and handed back.

She added: "Any archive material that needed immediate restoration has been taken out.

"When we get the building back, the priority will be to get student art work and have it conserved where possible.

"Whatever it takes to support the students we will do.

"After that, there will be a system of retrieval through the rest of the building but until we get the building back, we cannot start to do that."

Fire crews are not expected to hand the structure back until today at the earliest.

Art School bosses admit they have received an influx of offers of both practical and financial help.

The spokeswoman said: "We have been inundated with offers in terms of expertise, conservation, storage and student counselling service.

"People kept saying they wanted to give us money so we have set up a place where anyone who wants to give money can do so.

"We have not set up an appeal but because so many people expressed a desire to give money we have made that possible."

The Art School website reads: "For offers of financial support please donate via our page on The Big Give.

"For offers of practical assistance, please e-mail in the first instance to Alan Horn, director of development at a.horn@gsa.ac.uk."

Outside Central Station, grateful Art School supporters have hung a Mackintosh inspired thank-you card at the statue to honour city firemen.

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Fire

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