MEMBERS of trade union Unison have closed several museums in a major Scottish city amid an ongoing dispute over cuts to jobs and services.

Several museums in Glasgow have been forced to close, as Unison members take five days of strike action this week.

The Kelvingrove Museum and Art Galleries and the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre have been closed so far on Monday and Tuesday, and the Burrell Collection was forced to close on Tuesday.

Glasgow Life, a Glasgow City Council arms-length organisation which oversees museums, is looking to cut 38 jobs, with the museums and collections section facing a 30% cut in posts to save £1.5 million.

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Unison warned that the cuts would see “diminished public experiences, empty cases and stagnant galleries” and urged Glasgow City Council’s political leaders to intervene and provide the funding required to resolve the dispute.

Recent exhibitions on display across the museums include Mary Quant at Kelvingrove and Banksy’s Cut and Run (below).

The National:

The union said posts which will be cut include curators, conservators, technicians, collections staff and outreach and learning assistants, as well as staff from photography, editorial and design.

The conservation department alone is set to be reduced by almost half, at 40%.

In a leaflet calling on museum services to be protected, the union raised concerns about what the loss of these services would mean for the museums, their collections and potential visitors.

It reads: “Savaging cuts to the professional teams will result in a loss of skills, knowledge, creativity and essential care of Glasgow’s world-renowned museum collections.

“Losing the technical and specialist staff who prepare objects and loans, manage, pack and move the collections when required, design and build the displays and temporary exhibitions will result in diminished public experiences, empty cases and stagnant galleries.”

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In a separate statement, Unison highlighted the “incredibly irresponsible” nature of the cuts, which will impact the quality of care of collections and see objects undergo further irreversible light damage such as from pests including moths and mice.

It said: “As Glasgow has the largest and finest civic collection in the UK, and one of the greatest civic collections in Europe, valued in excess of £1.4 billion, the cuts are both incredibly irresponsible and a high-profile accident waiting to happen.

“Glasgow risks following the example of the British Museum in terms of international reputational damage.”

Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life have been approached for comment.