A SHOW-STOPPING display of video walls, life-size films and interactive games will bring a famous Glasgow museum to life this spring.

The newly-refurbished Burrell Collection, which opens in March following a multi-million pound renovation, is using digital media on a scale never before seen in a museum setting to reveal the stories behind each one of its 9000-plus objects and artworks.

Glasgow Times: The Burrells in Glasgow. Pic: Glasgow Museums

“We use digital to tell people about the objects in a museum, where they came from, what they were used for, who made them,” explains David Scott, Digital Media Manager at Glasgow Life, which runs the museum. “The big challenge for the Burrell is that most of us have no frame of reference. At Riverside, everyone knows what a bus is. It’s a little harder when you are dealing with decorative, often obscure, works of fine art.

“We want people to feel welcome - to see their city, and themselves, in the museum.”

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Shipping magnate Sir William Burrell and his wife Lady Constance collected thousands of works of art before donating it all to the City of Glasgow in 1944. The purpose-built Burrell Collection opened in 1983 and closed in 2016 for a £69 million refurbishment, made possible by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The refurbished Burrell will have three physical entrances instead of just one, including a new main entrance and direct entry to the café. Floorspace is greatly increased, with old lecture theatres and staff offices transformed into exhibition spaces, and more of the collection than ever before will be on display in a patchwork of 25 galleries. Objects which have not seen the light of day for decades – and some which have never been exhibited – will be on view. The café has been extended, and an outside plaza will include a ‘playscape’ for young children.

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Giant screens will show films about techniques, such as glass engraving and velvet-making, used to create the objects on display. One takes the viewer into a pop-up version of an ancient Persian ‘garden’ carpet, another shows actors playing the Burrells in 1910 Glasgow.

Interactive games, designed for the under-fives and parents to play together, make use of state-of-the-art gaming and touch-screen technology – one is based on Aesop’s Fables, which William Burrell read to his daughter, Marion, another involves ‘virtual’ dressing up.

Glasgow Times: 'The Heavenly Garden' Wagner carpet. Pic: Glasgow Museums

“It’s about creating a playful experience, that families can enjoy together,” says David. “We are doing something here in Glasgow that is very ambitious, on a size and scale which has not been done in a museum setting anywhere else in the world, and we are all very proud of that.”