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Art school launches appeal to help save treasures and repair building hit by blaze

FIREFIGHTERS are continuing to sift through the debris following the blaze which tore through Glasgow School of Art.

Grateful:  A fireman's statue displays the thanks of a city as a young girl looks on.
Grateful: A fireman's statue displays the thanks of a city as a young girl looks on.

Staff have started the painstaking process of removing valuable items in need of urgent attention.

And the school say they have received an influx of offers of both practical and financial help.

The spokeswoman said: "People kept saying they wanted to give us money so we have set up a place where anyone who wants to give money can do so."

They have launched an appeal due to the sheer number of people interested in donating to help pay for restoration or repairs.

Staff were seen yesterday carrying parts of picture frames and wooden panels out of the fire-ravaged building.

Some have clearly been badly damaged by the blaze while others look to be untouched.

Some pieces have been carefully placed in plastic containers and removed by workers. Experts will assess all the salvaged items and decide which need urgent attention and which can be treated later.

A crane was brought on to site to allow experts to check the condition of the windows and the exterior of the building.

It had been feared the world-famous Charles Rennie Mackintosh building would be destroyed by Friday's inferno which started in the basement, but quick-thinking firefighters succeeded in saving 90% of the structure and 70% of the contents.

The renowned Mackintosh library and its contents have been severely damaged.

Fire crews have spent days going through every inch of the structure to ensure there are no remaining pockets of flame. They are also checking the structure to make certain it is safe before handing the building back to the art school.

A spokeswoman for the GSA said: "The fire service will not release the building until they are certain another fire will not break out and that the building is safe.

"Until that happens, we cannot implement any plans."

Some Mackintosh furniture was removed as the blaze started but much remains in the building - including work that fine art students had prepared for their degree show.

The spokeswoman said the priority will be removing as much of that as possible once the building is deemed safe and handed back.

She added: "Any archive material that needed immediate restoration has been taken out.

"Fire crews are not expected to hand the structure back until today at the earliest."

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