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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 November 2006, 12:56 GMT
Kibble's 7m Victorian splendour
The Kibble Palace Glasgow
The refurbished Kibble Palace with BBC Scotland in the background
The Kibble Palace, in Glasgow's west end, has reopened to the public after a multi-million pound restoration.

The Victorian iron and glass structure, situated in the Botanic Gardens, was closed in 2003 and was dismantled piece-by-piece for repair.

It was officially opened by Glasgow's Lord Provost, Liz Cameron.

She said: "I am delighted to return the Kibble Palace in its magnificent Victorian splendour to the people of Glasgow and our city's many visitors."

The glasshouse was painstakingly reassembled.

The Kibble is the jewel in the crown of the Botanics
Councillor Aileen Colleran

Ornate iron fretwork was identified from pictures and patterns and missing decorative sections cast and reintroduced.

New glass conforming to health and safety standards was also used.

A series of eight marble sculptures that have graced the Kibble were removed and specially cleaned.

An internal lighting system that bounces light off reflective mirrors housed in the Kibble's ceiling, completed the restoration.

'Labour of love'

Councillor Aileen Colleran, executive member for parks and facilities, said: "This has been a labour of love for all those involved and I am sure visitors will be delighted at the result.

"The Kibble is the jewel in the crown of the Botanics."

The Kibble houses a vast collection of plants, including Australasian tree ferns which have grown in the palace for the last 120 years.

Other temperate plants from around the world on display include Australian Bottlebrush, Japanese Banana, Camellia Cultivars and Vireya Rhododendrons.

The collection has now been extended to incorporate donations from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, the Eden Centre in Cornwall and the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

Robert Booth director of land services said: "While the Kibble's primary role will continue to be the care and cultivation of plant collections, it will also operate as a centre for a range of cultural events and performances including, theatre, poetry and civic ceremonies."

The restoration was funded by Historic Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Friends of the Botanics.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Glasgow's Lord Provost reopens the glasshouse



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