Fire wrecks historic Scottish art school

23rd May 2014, Comments 0 comments

A blaze ripped through one of the world's top art schools in the Scottish city of Glasgow Friday, damaging a historic building designed by the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

All students and staff were safely evacuated from the Glasgow School of Art, officials said, after the fire sent smoke and flames billowing into the air.

Several people were in tears as they watched the inferno rage through the century-old building, whose alumni include "Doctor Who" actor Peter Capaldi.

"Awful to see destruction of this iconic building and students' work," Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.

Glasgow-born architect and designer Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) was a leading exponent of Art Nouveau, whose distinctive lines and lettering remain influential.

He won a competition to design the building in 1897 and it took around 10 years to complete but is now a landmark in the city, with special government-protected status.

Around 20,000 visitors from around the world visit the Mackintosh building each year, according to the school's website.

© 2014 AFP

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