Glasgow & West Scotland

Sturgeon hosts US reception for fire-hit art school

Nicola Sturgeon speaking in New York Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nicola Sturgeon is making her first visit to the US as first minister

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has hosted a reception in the United States later to thank supporters of the fire-damaged Glasgow School of Art (GSA).

The event in New York's Lincoln Centre Plaza was attended by 200 guests, including GSA alumni and expatriates.

They were told of plans to restore the Grade A-listed art nouveau Mackintosh building that was badly damaged in the blaze on 23 May 2014.

Ms Sturgeon is on a four-day visit to the US - her first as first minister.

Earlier, the first minister appeared on one of American television's top chat shows.

She took part in The Daily Show, hosted by Jon Stewart, and questioned her billing on the show's website as a "comedian".

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Mackintosh library was destroyed in the blaze on 23 May

The GSA reception aimed to boost the profile of the Mackintosh appeal which hopes to raise £20m towards the eventual cost of restoration of the building and its contents.

The New York event also provided a platform for sharing details of the planned restoration project with existing and potential new supports.

Patrons of the appeal include the American actor Brad Pitt as well as Scots actor and former GSA student Peter Capaldi.

Director of Glasgow School of Art, Professor Tom Inns, told the BBC that the fundraiser is the first outside of Scotland.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive programme, he said: "We have always had great links into North America. A lot of our students are from the States and many of our students work in New York.

"There is also huge interest in Mackintosh and the building and there has been a lot of interest in the last 12 months."

Prof Inns said the school intends to update, as well as restore, its building following the devastating fire last year.

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