Hull Ferens art gallery to reopen after £5m revamp

Restored Pietro Lorenzetti painting

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The Pietro Lorenzetti Renaissance masterpiece was bought by the Ferens Art Gallery for £1.6m

Hull’s main art gallery is to reopen following a £5m refurbishment in time for the City of Culture celebrations.

The Ferens will host the Turner Prize for contemporary art and other events during the year-long arts festival.

It has been closed for the past 15 months to improve lighting and climate control.

The gallery will reopen on Friday with the unveiling of a 14th Century painting by Pietro Lorenzetti, restored by the National Gallery.

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Royal Collection Trust/HM Queen Elizabeth II 2016

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Paintings form the Royal Collection will be exhibited during Hull’s City of Culture year

The artwork, Christ between Saints Paul and Peter, was purchased by the gallery for £1.6m in 2013.

Gabriele Finaldi, director of the National Gallery in London, described the Lorenzetti work as “tremendously important” in the history of art.

“The gallery has been able to present the picture in the best possible condition,” he said.

“It really does looks very, very wonderful now.

“It is a very wonderful picture, it is the only picture by Pietro Lorenzetti in this country.”

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Pietro Lorenzetti’s painting was restored by experts at the National gallery in London

The National Gallery is also loaning four Italian Renaissance pictures, including a work by Giotto.

Other loans over the year will include a selection from from the Royal Collection, featuring paintings by Rembrandt, Hans Holbein, Canaletto and Sir Anthony van Dyck

Kirsten Simister, curator of art at the Ferens, said it was “amazing and brilliant” the gallery was finally ready to reopen.

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Sophisticated climate control equipment has been installed as part of the refurbishment

She said investment in security and sophisticated climate control systems in the galley would allow the Ferens to borrow art from other collections.

“We need to be able to ensure that we can properly protect and care for them,” said Ms Simister.

“It’s very important that we have now have a building that’s fit for purpose that will enable us to do that.”

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