Question S4O-00445: Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Bill Walker: To ask the Scottish Government how the refurbishment of the Scottish national portrait gallery will improve the visitor experience.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 01/12/2011

Fergus Ewing (Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism): The refurbished portrait gallery has opened today. Seventeen new galleries showcase the best of Scotland’s cultural treasures. Some original features have been restored and there is a new education suite and enhanced visitor facilities.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the National Museums of Scotland, which last week achieved 1 million visitors to its new museum since it opened at the end of July.

Bill Walker: As the gallery is a national collection, can the minister advise how it will support education and community engagement throughout Fife and across Scotland?

Fergus Ewing: I am pleased to inform Mr Walker that the galleries receive many visits from schools in Fife and they will continue to provide that excellent educational function. The opening exhibitions will cover a huge range of attractions that, I am sure, will be of interest to children in Fife, including pioneers of science; women of 19th century Scotland; the age of improvement; Sir Henry Raeburn; citizens of the world; David Hume; Allan Ramsay; and others too numerous to mention. A veritable embarras de richesse, one might say.

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