THE GLASGOW International has effectively been given national status, after the government opened up the coffers of their Festival Expo Fund to the biannual art gala.

In recent years, the fund has only be open to Edinburgh’s festivals, allowing them put on high profile productions with Scottish companies, but in January, ministers extended the fund to Celtic Connections.

Now, they’ve added the Glasgow International (GI) to the list of people who can ask for a share of the multi-million pound pot.

The GI opens today, with the biggest single art work ever displayed in the city literally plastered over a gas purifier building in Dalmarnock.

The 76 metres long, six metres high, The Regenerators, by the artist Mick Peter, with support from Glasgow School of Art students, Caitlin Callaghan, Luke Andrew, Fraser Whiting and Thomas Whiting, is one of the more prominent artworks in the 13-year-old festival.

Over the next month work from more than 270 artists from 30 different countries will be on display in the city, including new works, and site-specific commissions.

One of the more intriguing is an art adoption scheme being run, where “guardians” will be sought for works languishing unseen and gathering dust in storage.

The largest solo commission of the festival is Mark Leckey, a former Turner Prize winner, whose Nobodaddy at the Tramway, is inspired by small statuette of the biblical figure of Job on display in the Wellcome Collection in London.

Leckey has scaled up the statue to human proportions and converts the figure into a 7.1 surround sound audio system.

Nicolas Party’s giant purple head outside the Modern Institute has already grabbed the attention of plenty of passing Glasweigans. Glasgow-based Torsten Lauschmann’s War of the Corners in the GSA takes its title from a war of words that broke out in 18th century Paris when an elitist French opera had to make way for a sudden wave of populist Italian opera.

Lauschmann’s new works, exhibited in the Glasgow School of Art’s Reid building, “interacts with and reframe referents and resources from high and low culture, thus drawing together abstraction, humour, politics and art.”

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop explained why the GI deserved access to the Expo fund.

“The Festival is recognised internationally for its artistic quality, inclusivity and talent, attracting audiences and investors from across the world,” she said. “That is why I am pleased to extend the Expo Fund to include GI.”

Richard Parry, Director, Glasgow International, welcomed the support: “This vital funding will allow significantly more scope for us to work with and support artists based here to make and show new, powerful and ambitious work.”

The GI runs until May 7.