Debate Magazine

Glasgow School of Art Fire: Critics Divided

Posted on the 23 May 2014 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth
From the BBCInitial reactions to the major blaze at the A-listed Glasgow School of Art, one of Scotland's most iconic buildings are sharply divided.   Eyewitnesses said the fire was very impressive to look at and some commented favourably on the originality of starting the blaze with an exploding projector in the basement of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building just before 12:30.  The roof space of the art school is still well alight. It is expected that large parts have been destroyed, which will make it a lot easier for Christo to put wrapping paper round them.  Everyone in the building was said to have escaped safely to highlight the plight of the millions trapped in refugee camps around the world. There have been no reports of any casualties, prompting Brian Sewell to write a scathing article about the performers' lack of commitment.  Final year students were said to have been preparing their excuses for not having anything ready for their end of year degree show in the building when the blaze broke out.  Reviewers from Glasgow Police were far more negative, describing the spectacle as "simply unwatchable". Matching words with actions, police then cordoned off Renfrew Street. The fire brigade's culture spokesman described the smoke drifting across the M8 as "old hat... we've seen this a thousand times if we've seen it once."  Large crowds of students and onlookers gathered near the scene to engage in heated debate about the validity of the whole concept, with several people in tears as they watched the events unfold.  "I wish I'd thought of it," blubbered final year graduate Nikki Hollis, 23, "Look at this crowd! Only three people came to watch my video installation and two of those were there by mistake."

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