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National Portrait Gallery to close for three years for £35.5m revamp

national portrait gallery

The National Portrait Gallery has announced it will be closing for three years for a £35.5m redevelopment. During this time, artworks will tour galleries across the UK, before the National Portrait Gallery reopens in 2023.

The project is called ‘Inspiring People’. It is designed by Jamie Fobert Architects and is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

It involves a redisplay of the gallery’s collection, a significant refurbishment of the building, and the creation of new public spaces.

It will also add a more welcoming visitor entrance and public forecourt, as well as a state-of-the-art learning centre.

‘Inspiring People’ project is taking place through 2023

national portrait gallery

The National Portrait Gallery in St Martin’s Place, London will temporarily close to the public from June 29, 2020 to spring 2023, while building works take place.

According to the website, closing the gallery will ensure that staff, visitors and the collection are not put at risk.

Some of the attraction’s permanent galleries have not been renewed for 25 years. The learning studio facilities have not been updated since 1992.

While it is closed, key works from the collection will displayed around the country at places including the National Gallery, Royal Museums Greenwich, and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Significant refurb of National Portrait Gallery building

national portrait gallery

Other institutions that have partnered with the National Portrait Gallery include York Art Gallery, the Holburne Museum, Museums Liverpool, the Laing Art Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, and Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

As for NPG’s international programme, ‘Tudors to Windsors’ will tour to Tokyo’s Ueno Royal Museum in 2020, in partnership with Fuji TV.

‘Love Stories’ will premiere in Australia in 2020 before touring the US.

Details of the National Portrait Gallery’s revamp were first announced in January. The institution has now secured £32.7m of its £35.5m fundraising target.

Key works from collection will be displayed around UK

national portrait gallery

A spokesperson said (via The Guardian): “Closure of the gallery building will necessitate staff changes and inevitably there will be some job losses.

“Where possible, staff will be offered part-time working and career break opportunities and the gallery is looking at a range of secondment opportunities with other institutions during the building period.”

Images: National Portrait Gallery

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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