A PARLIAMENTARY committee is expected to be told that the Mackintosh building should be removed from the hands of Glasgow School of Art.

The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee has invited four experts connected with the institution to give evidence on what happened and what the future holds.

Gallery director Roger Billcliffe, who has published several works on Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Stuart Robertson of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society, architect Malcolm Fraser and Eileen Reid, a former employee of the school, have all been invited to share their views.

Mr Billcliffe said that, while he is still considering what he will recommend to the committee, he believes that using the Mackintosh building as a teaching facility is ‘not reconcilable’.

He added: “The building is a work of art and a museum - it should be treated like one.

“The future of the building should be under consideration and questions over whether it should remain as a school should be asked.”

Committee Convener, Joan McAlpine MSP, said in advance of the evidence session: “The Charles Rennie Mackintosh building was one of the greatest pieces of art ever produced in Scotland – a masterpiece of global significance. To see it destroyed by fire not once but twice has caused deep concern around the world.

“Glasgow School of Art is also a publicly funded institution so it is right that the parliament hears the concerns of these witnesses, all of whom have extensive knowledge of, and a commitment to, the GSA as an institution and the Mackintosh Building as a cultural icon for Glasgow, Scotland and internationally.

“While we cannot speculate on the immediate causes of this fire, we expect the panel to discuss how we got to this point, whether lessons were learned from the past and how to go forward in future.

“After the evidence session members will take a view as to whether it is appropriate to call further witnesses.”

A spokesperson for the Glasgow School of Art said: “Of the many voices that have been expressed since the fire on June 15, the overriding one has been that the Mackintosh Building should be rebuilt as a working art school as conceived by Mackintosh, and we have been clear that this is what we intend to do.”