McManus Gallery - Attracting More Visitors By Reverting Back To The Original Albert Institute Name

If this were in any other city than Dundee, it would be called the Albert Institute, named after the consort beloved by Queen Victoria and her people.

Originally named in his honour, the building was created partly as a reading room for citizens unable to afford the price of a newspaper, and as a social and arts setting. By all accounts it was a great success and the Gothic style building was made possible by a hefty donation from a local jute baron and finished in 1867.

For a century, it went from successful venture under the Albert name, to disrepair when it became part of the public library setup and suffered from a variety of ailments.

Then came a strange episode, explained only by those interconnected to the vagaries of left wing politics, when councillors decided to strip away any mention of Prince Albert, and replaced his name with that of a town Provost.

Perhaps the only place in the UK where councillors could get away with this sort of thing, this nowadays looks like a particularly poor, misguided move, given Dundee's intended City of Culture claim. As history shows, Prince Albert was the driving force behind the Great Exhibition, and his name would undoubtably provide more of a worldwide punch than that of a well meaning, long deceased minor politician.

Reverting this splendid,  Gilbert Scott designed building back to its' original name, would not in any sense be political, but would make sound commercial sense in a worldwide market. Alongside the proposed V&A development on the Tay, this would be a tourist lure and a definite, major plus for a city in need of the tourist buck.