Glasgow’s nickname is Tinderbox City, said our walking tour guide, a charming student from the Glasgow School of Art. On a crisp March afternoon, we stood between the school’s gleaming, modern Reid building and the scaffolding-shrouded Mackintosh building — a soaring, sandstone masterpiece by one of the school’s alumni — Charles Rennie Mackintosh. A student’s art installation had caused a fire and the Mackintosh was in the final stretch of restoration work, due to open in 2019. I was back in SA when I heard the news on June 16. I stared disbelievingly at my screen as my stomach seemed to plummet to my feet. The night before, another blaze had struck the Mackintosh building. The fire was far worse than the 2014 conflagration which had mainly destroyed the library. The "Mack" is ruined. Stabilisation work is under way but essentially little more than a shell remains. Had temporary water sprinklers been installed, it is likely the worst of the damage could have been avoided. Glasgow is...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.