AN ARC of glittering sparks falls through the air, and one of the UK's finest museums of art and design begins its journey of transformation.

Workers from Burnfield Ltd, one of the key contractors for the multi-million pound revamp of Glasgow's Burrell Collection museum, are hard at work in the bowels of the building, dismantling outdated machinery and paving the way for a greener and more contemporary power supply.

The Herald was allowed access to the museum in the city's south side Pollok Park as Burnfield - responsible for advance works on the £66m project which hopes to transform the attraction - began work onsite, a series of works that included the hot work of dismantling of the original power plant.

The engine room of the museum is to be re-vamped with completely new plant for the re-opening of the museum in the latter half of 2020.

Since the Burrell Collection was awarded £15m from the Heritage Lottery Fund in September 2017, Burnfield Ltd. has begun work onsite including removing the original plant or ‘engine room’ of the museum.

The workers from Burnfield will complete the advance works by the spring of 2018, and the main building contractor will start work on the site.

The mark made on the environment by the building will be improved in the revamp.

The existing services, including heating, ventilation and lighting are mostly still served by the original plant.

Improvements in technology since the 1980s have improved the energy performance of key central plant items such as air handling units, boilers, pump sets and lighting controls, so the plan at the Burrell is to replace all plant and mechanical and electrical services within the building.

The fuel for the heating will be changed from electricity to gas.

Heat will also be recovered from hot plant rooms and sent to the undercroft of the building and a fresh water heating and cooling system will also be used.

The refurbishment of the A-listed building, and redisplay of some 9,000 objects from the collection is scheduled to reopen to the public late 2020.

All of the artworks on display in the Burrell had been moved out by the end of September 2017.

The redevelopment of the lauded but outdated 1983 building will include a much needed new roof (the old roof leaks), new glazing and a major internal refit.

When it is completed, more than 90% of the collection gifted to the city in 1944 by shipping magnate Sir William Burrell will be on display.

There will be a new entrance, and two new floors of displays open to the public, including its basement.

However the public can still see art from the collection during the festive period - although you may have to travel to Amsterdam in the Netherlands or London.

Until 7 January 2018 the Rijksmuseum is hosting an exhibition by the artist Matthijs Maris.

This is the first major retrospective of the artist’s works and would not have been possible without the inclusion of 27 works from the Burrell Collection that were formerly unavailable for foreign loan.

The Burrell is the single largest lender to the exhibition.

Until 7 May 2018, The National Gallery, London is hosting the exhibition Drawn in Colour: Degas from the Burrell Collection.

The exhibition of 20 works by Degas from the Burrell Collection includes supporting pictures and a bronze sculpture from Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Berwick upon Tweed Museum and the National Gallery, London.

Visitors to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow can also see the exhibition Burrell at Kelvingrove: Tapestries.

The show offers the public the rare opportunity to see medieval and renaissance works from the Burrell Collection.

The exhibition presents nine works from circa 1350 – 1725, including two which have not been on public display since the Glasgow International Exhibition at Kelvingrove in 1901.

Over a period of 60 years, Sir William (1861–1958) collected over 200 tapestries, developing a keen knowledge of their history, design and manufacture.

Today it ranks as one of the most significant collections of tapestries in the world, and includes French and South Netherlandish tapestries commissioned by kings, princes and bishops as well as smaller domestic tapestries woven in Germany and England for the emerging wealthy merchant classes.