The historic Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh reopened its doors to the public on the first of the month following a two year restoration project. The ambitious £17.6 million renovation project was the first major refurbishment of the gallery since it opened more than 120 years ago, and is said to restore the gallery to the architect’s original vision.
Previously inaccessible areas of the building have been restored, significantly increasing exhibit space in the gallery by more than 60%. For the first time in its history all three levels of the building will be open to the public, giving the gallery a fresh presentation of its world-famous collection; hundreds of pieces that were hidden away because of limited space are once again on display. A range of new facilities have also been introduced, including new trails, themes and an interactive touch-screen gallery all of which help bring the gallery to life by developing a fresh approach to information and interpretation.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery first opened in 1889, and was the first purpose-built portrait gallery of its kind. Now it is one of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks, and a key draw for tourists to the city. It houses one of the world’s largest and finest collections, comprising 3,000 paintings and sculptures, 25,000 prints and drawings, and 38,000 historic and modern photographs. Entry to the new Scottish National Portrait Gallery is completely free, so there is absolutely no excuse not to spend a couple hours wandering around its halls on your next visit to Bonnie Scotland! For more information on Scotland’s fabulous national galleries, visit www.nationalgalleries.org