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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Flagship museum reopens to public
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
The Kelvingrove has a special place in the hearts of Glasgow people
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum opened its doors to cheers, three years after it closed.

The flagship attraction in the west end of Glasgow has undergone a 28m refurbishment and attracted 15,653 visitors when it reopened on Tuesday.

Lord Provost Liz Cameron officially opened the new gates to the galleries which were then swamped with visitors.

Ms Cameron said: "The project has delivered a museum and art gallery fit for the 21st Century."

Kelvingrove attracted more than one million visitors each year prior to the refurbishment.

It now boasts a third more floor space, a restaurant, as well as shops and state-of-the-art conference facilities.

Kelvingrove is not just another art gallery, it's much more than that
Helen Reynolds
Dinner lady

Ms Cameron added: "It is a great honour for me to open Glasgow's favourite building, one that has a worldwide reputation that will attract huge numbers of visitors to the city.

"This great day has been a long time coming and I think the Victorians who created Kelvingrove and left us this fantastic collection would be happy with what we have done with the building and displays."

Kelvingrove, to which admission is free, now houses 8,000 works of art.

They include the Spitfire LA198 from the 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron, the Charles Rennie Mackintosh gallery and a collection of Egyptian treasures.

Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali's painting Christ Of St John Of The Cross has also returned from the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art.

'A marvellous day'

Chairman of Kelvingrove Refurbishment Appeal Lord Norman Macfarlane spoke of his pride at seeing the museum open again.

Interior of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
The refurbished main hall at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

He said: "It's a marvellous day for Glasgow and for the council.

"In many, many ways it's by far the most important project that has ever taken place in Scotland."

First in the queue at the reopening was Vanessa O'Donnell and her son Struan Robertson, who was celebrating his sixth birthday.

Ms O'Donnell, 39, said: "We live just across the road and used to come regularly so are thrilled it is open again.

"We just love the atmosphere and the building is gorgeous."

Dinner lady Helen Reynolds, from Clydebank, headed straight for the 1951 Dali masterpiece after walking inside.

She said: "It's lovely to see the painting back where it was before, I love it.

"Kelvingrove is not just another art gallery, it's much more than that.

"Like many people in the city, I used to come here all the time especially when my daughter was little.

"It's just a lovely place to come."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See how the refurbished museum looks now



SEE ALSO
Dali piece returns to Kelvingrove
02 Jun 06 |  Glasgow and West
Museum revamp appeal raises 13m
31 May 06 |  Glasgow and West
Kelvingrove closes to public
29 Jun 03 |  Scotland

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