Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Stolen Great Tapestry of Scotland panel recreated

Tapestry stitchers

A stolen panel from the Great Tapestry of Scotland has been painstakingly recreated by its original stitchers.

The section, which depicts the Apprentice Pillar at Rosslyn Chapel, was stolen while the tapestry was in display in Kirkcaldy Galleries in September 2015.

It has never been found so the artist Andrew Crummy and a team of volunteers recreated the panel.

It is one of 160 panels in the tapestry.

The tapestry was the idea of author Alexander McCall Smith and illustrates Scotland's history. Each panel covers a different period of Scottish history, from the Battle of Bannockburn to the reconvening of the Scottish parliament in 1999.

It has been touring the country since it was completed in 2013 but will now have a permanent home in Galashiels.

Image copyright Alex Hewitt
Image caption The original panel was stolen from the Kirkcaldy Galleries in September 2015
Image copyright Alex Hewitt
Image copyright Alex Hewitt

It took more than 1,000 volunteers over 50,000 hours to complete the work and at 143m (469ft) long it is thought to be the world's longest embroidered tapestry.

The replacement panel has been created by the seven original stitchers, all of whom live in or near Roslin.

Margaret Humphries, Jean Lindsay, Anne Beedie, Jinty Murray, Barbara Stokes, Fiona McIntosh and Phillipa Peat worked for hundreds of hours to embroider the replacement.

'Remarkable achievement'

Ms McIntosh said: "We were all devastated that our panel had been stolen, but we are happy now that it has been remade and delighted that it will once again take its place with the rest of the tapestry."

The new panel closely resembles the original, but "some subtle design differences" have been added to distinguish it from the original.

Project historian Alistair Moffat said: "What the women of Roslin have achieved is something remarkable: not only have they refused to let the miserable people who stole the original panel win, they have also poured all their love and labour into creating a stunning new panel of the Apprentice Pillar that is even more powerful.

"Their panel will have a special place in my heart and it will join its companions in the new building to house the tapestry in Galashiels."

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