Leicester City Council – Victorian Art Gallery reopens

Victorian Art Gallery reopens

22nd May 2014

Page last edited: 27th May 2014.

A VICTORIAN art gallery at Leicester’s New Walk Museum is reopening after a major refurbishment programme.

The revamped gallery, which has undergone extensive building work since closing in 2012, will reopen to visitors on Saturday, May 24.

It will now be used to showcase 50 of the city’s best pre-1900 art collection, including works by artists such as Turner, Frith and Degas, old masters by Michael Sweerts and George De La Tours, and sculptures by Rodin and Leighton.

The Grade-II listed gallery closed in October 2012 for repairs which led to the discovery of asbestos within its structure. The removal of the asbestos meant the resulting refurbishment work took longer than planned.

Work has included rebuilding parts of the ceiling and walls, removing and restoring decorative plaster and metalwork, and repairing glass in the roof. New lighting has also been installed, along with acoustic panels, a new audio-visual system, blinds and a new stage.

The gallery has been lovingly redecorated in keeping with its original Victorian style. In addition to creating a new space for weddings and talks, the gallery will also feature new family-friendly activities for visitors of all ages.

Leicester assistant city mayor for culture, heritage, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “It is wonderful to see the Victorian Art Gallery restored to its former glory, after this lengthy refurbishment project.

“The discovery of very fine asbestos in the coving and ceiling meant delays in completing the work as it had to be removed, but now the fully-refurbished gallery is once again looking its best.

“In addition, improvements such as the new audio-visual equipment, better lighting and space for family activities mean it will be even more user-friendly for visitors of all ages.”

[Source: Leicester City Council]