Glasgow School of Art is unique – and this fire is a heart-rending catastrophe

Glasgow School of Art was gutted by fire overnight
Glasgow School of Art was gutted by fire overnight Credit: Getty

How many times can a phoenix rise from the ashes? When fire tore through Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterpiece Glasgow School of Art in 2014, devastating the building’s central library – often described as one of the finest buildings in Europe – and its priceless archive, it seemed merely a disaster. Although around 90 paintings were lost in the blaze, including two by Mackintosh, it transpired that 90 per cent of the building and 70 per cent of its contents had been saved. A meticulous reconstruction of the library was undertaken, and an overall refurbishment was almost complete.

Now, however, this extraordinary building has been gutted by a far worse fire, only four years later, that has...

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