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November 7 2008The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is to be restored to its former glory thanks to £17.6m of funding from Edinburgh City Council.
Works will see the galleries closed for up to two years as partition walls are removed, exposing sandstone arches and boosting gallery space by 50%.
An existing entrance hall will be removed to provide a new “streetscape” space and allowing a new lift to be installed.
To the rear of the building a mezzanine level will be incorporated while storage space on the first floor will be returned to use as gallery space.
Finally the Library of the Society of Antiquaries will be carefully moved down from the second floor to the newly configured first floor. This in turn will allow restoration of the original circuit gallery.
Such disruptive works will necessarily entail bubble wrapping the historic portraits to be placed in storage until redevelopment is complete
Designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson in 1888 the A listed gothic styled building constitutes the first purpose built portrait gallery in the world.
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