A FORMER curator of Glasgow's People's Palace has been appointed

director of the Smith Art Gallery and Museum in Stirling.

Ms Elspeth King left the Glasgow Green museum after she was

controversially passed over in 1990 for the civic post of keeper of

social history in favour of Mr Mark O'Neill from Springburn Museum.

She will leave her position as director of Dunfermline Heritage Trust

to take up the Stirling post in April. She will be the Smith's first

director, following the resignation of curator Pamela Diamond last year,

who had been criticised for the poor attendances at the gallery.

The Smith trustees said yesterday that Ms King had been the unanimous

choice of a sub-committee which included representatives of Stirling

district and Central regional councils. A short leet of seven was

interviewed after applications from Britain and overseas.

Ms King said yesterday that she had been happy to give a long-term

commitment to the gallery.

She said: ''I know the Smith is a much loved institution. I have

watched its development with close interest and am delighted to have

been chosen to take it in a new direction and hopefully to the wider

audience it deserves.''

Chairman of trustees Councillor Keith Harding, the leader of the

district council, said the Smith had tremendous potential to play a

greater part in the life of the district.

He said: ''We are delighted to have secured the appointment of Elspeth

King who, the trustees feel, has the energy and imagination to realise

this potential and create a vibrant centre for the arts.''