Swindon Museum & Art Gallery may reopen temporarily

THE Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Home may be reopened as a temporary home for the city’s art and artifact collection.

Apsley House in Bath Road was closed at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and has not been reopened as restrictions were relaxed this summer.

Swindon Borough Council said the Grade II listed Regency building was no longer fit for purpose and would be too expensive to repair, even temporarily.

And while the authority announced ambitious plans for a new museum and art gallery, many feared the collections could be put on the back burner for years until a new home was built.

But now, after talks between new culture, heritage and recreation cabinet member Robert Jandy and members of the Save Our Museum & Art Gallery campaign group, the council has said Apsley House will be among the options for a temporary home for the collections.

Coun Jandy, said: “Coming from a strong artistic and cultural background, I know how important the sector is to the health and well-being of people, and with what has happened over the last 18 years. months, it is more than ever necessary.

“To that end, it has been gratifying to meet and work with people who are both passionate and knowledgeable on the subject.

“Our goal has always been to ensure that the museum and the art collection are not stocked and whatever solution we come up with, we must do everything possible to build on the work that has already taken place in order to to share it with as many an audience as possible.

“We want all of our residents to have the chance to see our wonderful collection. It’s a collection we can be proud of – let’s share it widely. ”

Linda Kasmaty, president of the Friends of SMAG and founder of the Save Our Museum group, said: and artefacts, would not have access to most of our collections for years.

“We have shared our feelings with Council and we are very happy and grateful that Councilor Jandy has spent a lot of time meeting with us and has now responded promptly.”

She added: “We look forward to continuing to work with him and his officers to reopen Apsley House as soon as possible, so that as many people as possible can pass through its doors and the popular children’s workshops in the school holidays. can resume. Many parents have told us that our famous gharial – the fang of Swindon – was missed by our children and really can’t wait to see her again. ”

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