This Sunday 19 February 2017 at 2pm will see a mass visit to Edinburgh’s Inverleith House in protest against its closure as a contemporary art gallery.

The event is being organised by the I Still Believe in Inverleith House group, who are calling for the public to bring banners and posters, with photographers attending to document the visit.

Located in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) – which is directly funded by the Scottish government – Inverleith House closed its doors as a gallery on 23 October 2016 at the end of the group show, ‘I Still Believe in Miracles’, which celebrated 30 years of exhibitions in the building.

A petition calling for the decision to be reversed has so far attracted nearly 11,000 signatures. An open letter was signed by over 230 artists, gallery directors and celebrities added its voice to the protests, with signatories including Tracey Emin, Sir Nicholas Serota and Cindy Sherman.

In response, the Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop announced that she is to review the closure, with a new Arts Working Group advising on the strategic direction of its future arts programme.

The group is tasked with establishing a clear strategic direction to allow for the development of an arts programme that would ‘align with and amplify the core mission of RBGE and that would be achievable and sustainable within the current financial climate. Inverleith House will continue to be available (but not exclusive to) exhibitions and other art related activity.’

Members of the working group include: Janet Archer, chief executive, Creative Scotland; Patricia Barclay, convenor, Friends of RBGE; Prof Mary Gibby, associate, RBGE; Simon Milne MBE, regius keeper, RBGE. Professor Chris Breward, principal of Edinburgh College of Art and vice principal (creative industries and performing arts) at University of Edinburgh, will act as chair.

The group will work towards a written report to the RBGE Trustees by the end of June 2017.

The mass visit takes place 2-3pm, Sunday 19 February 2017, at Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Image:
Protestors outside Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, on 23 October 2016. Photo: Chris Sharratt

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