Glasgow School of Art fire prompts anguish

There has been widespread dismay from artists, students and politicians after the listed Mackintosh building of the Glasgow School of Art caught fire

May 23, 2014

Source: Finlay McWalter

The art nouveau masterpiece, which opened in 1909, attracts around 20,000 visitors every year.

It is also reported that the building was housing final-year students’ projects when the fire broke out shortly after midday on 23 May.

David Shrigley, the Turner Prize nominated artist who is an alumnus of the School, tweeted: “It’s not looking good…doesn’t look like much will be saved”.

Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond said on Twitter that it was “awful to see destruction of this iconic building and students work”.

The singer Lily Allen said that the fire was “devastating” while Fran Healy, singer for the band Travis, said it was “super super sad this place which has been with Glasgow and with all the students is burning down”.

Muriel Gray, a former student and current chairwoman of the Glasgow School of Art was reported to have “burst into tears” when she saw that the building was on fire.

Iain Connelly, president of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, said in a statement that Scotland had lost “an international treasure” which reflected the “genius” of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of the country’s “greatest ever architects”, who designed the building.

“The whole of the architectural profession in Scotland will, I am sure, join with me in sending out a message to the students and staff of the school and all those who have been associated with this building over the decades, a message of sorrow and commiseration at this terrible, terrible news,” he said.

“It is too early to talk about what happens now, but the architectural profession in Scotland will do anything it can to help in any way,” he said.

The extent of the damage is so far unknown, but there have been reports it started in the basement and subsequently spread upwards through the building.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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