Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Southport Atkinson get a Mummy

I should say that is a Mummy to go with our Sarcophagus
Most of the Borough's extensive Egyptian collection was given by Mrs Goodison
(yes, her husband was involved with Everton FC) to the former Bootle County Borough. 
It is proper to acknowledge that Bootle had some extremely fine art works.
Most famous of all the portrait of Lilith more information  here

Lilith is at present on display in Copenhagen 
as part of an exhibition about women and snakes. 
Don't ask, I didn't  

Anyway all these treasures and many more besides
will be restored to the magnificently restored and 
enhanced Atkinson which is due to open in May 
after its major refurbishment

There has been much gossip and anxiety about the 
Atkinson-named after a Liberal benefactor who 
built the town's free Library. The original funding for the Art 
Gallery came from another leading Liberal Councillor Samuel Lawson Booth
 a Mayor of the Southport Borough 1897/8 and a recognised watercolourist.

There has been media speculation about the project. Because of this
 I requested a visit to the site to see for myself and I can report that although 
it is not finished to the layman's eye it is on target for the open in May with the Jazz festival-complete with a
bar run by Southport branch of CAMRA.
The entrance space complete with restored fire place and modern 
chandelier looks great. Unlike the old entrance the whole area is imbued
 with natural light .
The stained glass windows look marvelous newly mounted  and 
back lit like the example of the Southport coat of arms 
-Salus Populi



The Library refit is up to the same standard and residents will notice many features from the old building

There are undoubtedly questions to be asked about the costings and management of the project but Southport is going to get a first rate Arts Centre capable of receiving the very best exhibitions

As to the two theatre spaces the most transformed is the second auditorium. It is now fully upgraded and I'm sure it will be a popular venue for performers and audience alike. 

The main theatre and its facilities are also restore to a high spec with much improved facilities for performers and visitors -including for people with disabilities

I have always believed that the arts can play a major part in the town's economy and we now have the facilities to realise that potential. 




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