Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Appeal to find saint's missing hand

Statue Image copyright University of St Andrews
Image caption The university believes someone may know what became of the missing hand

An appeal has been made on St Andrew's Day for a statue of the saint to be re-united with its hand.

The University of St Andrews plans to restore the statue and put it on public display.

But it has asked current and former students for information which could solve a decades-old mystery of the disappearing hand.

The university said it would be "wonderful" if someone could help it find the missing part.

The large statue of St Andrew was gifted to the university in the 1960s.

It is a copy of a sculpture by Francois Duquesnoy in St Peter's Basilica in Rome.

The work was made by Mussleburgh-born sculptor Alexander Handyside Ritchie, and used to stand in the foyer of an Edinburgh insurance firm.

Image copyright University of St Andrews
Image caption The hand became detached sometime after the statue moved to St Andrews

For much of its time in St Andrews it stood in the town's Botanic Garden car park. At some point, its hand became detached.

The university's restoration project is being led by Dr Katie Stevenson.

She said: "The hand of St Andrew is an important part of the statue's history.

"Before it came to the university in the 1960s, St Andrew sat in the foyer of the North British & Mercantile Insurance Company building in Edinburgh and as members of staff came in to work they touched his fingers to bring them luck.

"We are pleased to be able to retrieve Andrew for conservation and repair and we hope that his new home in the gardens of the university museum on The Scores in St Andrews will allow people to enjoy him.

"It would be wonderful if we could locate his original hand for our repair work."