Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Somerset House Restoration to Reveal 18th-Century Glory; Pieced Together: Matteo Di Giovanni's the Assumption of the Virgin Altarpiece, from about 1

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Somerset House Restoration to Reveal 18th-Century Glory; Pieced Together: Matteo Di Giovanni's the Assumption of the Virgin Altarpiece, from about 1

Article excerpt

Byline: LOUISE JURY

THE hidden glories of Somerset House are to be revealed in a fullrestoration of its 18th-century buildings.

Plans unveiled today will open the ground-level buildings on all wings of thepopular courtyard to public access for the first time.

The six-storey riverfront south wing will be redeveloped, uncovering previouslyunseen architectural gems such as a double-height gallery first used to housemodels of all the ships in the Navy.

The vaults around the courtyard are to be turned into studio spaces forartists, designers and photographers.

A temporary exhibitions programme will be organised in conjunction with theCourtauld Institute, which occupies the northern part of the site.

This will in part replace the shows which the Hermitage Museum of St Petersburghas presented on the site in recent years which it is closing because of risingcosts.

Gwyn Miles, director of the Somerset House Trust, said: "The intent is to bringthe building more into public use and restore the buildings to their glory. …

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