Glasgow's iconic St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art reopens

Glasgow's iconic St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art reopens

Glasgow’s different faith groups and visitors have welcomed the reopening of the UK’s only public museum dedicated to religious life and art, which is managed by Glasgow Life, the charity responsible for culture and sport in the city.

St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art is unique. Named after Glasgow's patron saint, who brought the Christian faith to Scotland in the 6th century, the museum explores the importance of religion in peoples’ lives across the world and across time.

One of very few public museums in the world dedicated solely to religion, visitors can view beautiful, important artworks and objects connected to religious belief and practice and discover the stories behind them. Renowned internationally, it is recognised for its role in promoting understanding and respect between people of different faiths and those of none.

Duncan Dornan, Head of Museums and Collection with Glasgow Life Museums said:

Since St Mungo Museum opened in 1993, we have worked with the local community to create imaginative displays, ground-breaking educational programmes, interfaith dialogue, and interesting topical exhibitions. Together this has established the museum’s popularity and reputation as a neutral and safe space for encouraging dialogue and understanding, often of challenging topics. It’s wonderful news we are open and ready to welcome the public back to St Mungo’s.

Phillip Mendelsohn, Chair of Interfaith Glasgow added:

Interfaith Glasgow is delighted that St. Mungo’s Museum is reopening, as it’s such an important resource to the faith communities of Glasgow and the wider community. As a city with many refugees and asylum seekers, sharing the story of the many faiths in the city is important in building community cohesion. The importance of St Mungo’s extends far beyond the city as it is one of the few museums of comparative religion in the world and is unique in the UK. We look forward to renewing our partnership working with the wonderful team at the museum and, especially, to being able to deliver our ever-popular ‘Faith to Faith’ events in person again.

The museum is open every day 10am – 5pm, except on Friday and Sunday when it opens at 11am. The Heavenly Creatures – Angels in Faith, History and Popular Culture exhibition will be open and toilet facilities will be available, although the shop and café will remain closed for now.

St Mungo Museum is set over three floors with displays covering different aspects of religious life, belief, and practice. Treasured pieces include a bronze sculpture of Shiva, one of the most important Gods of Hinduism, a striking stained glass depicting Moses, Elijah, David, and Enoch, the New Scots display in the Scottish Gallery which explores the lives and objects associated with refugees and asylum seekers who have made Glasgow their home, a powerful work by war artist Peter Howson OBE commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 and, outside, Britain’s first Zen Garden.

The inclusive nature of the museum allows it to explore some of the more difficult aspects of religion such as violence, racism, and sectarianism in a safe space, alongside other human rights issues, such as those relating to sexuality, education, torture, the law and refugees and the freedom of movement.

Part of the unique appeal of St Mungos is its location, set in one of the oldest areas of the city, next  to the Cathedral and directly opposite Provand’s Lordship.