A panel of the Great Tapestry of Scotland, which was stolen last year whilst on display in a Fife art gallery, has been replaced by the seamstresses who created the original work.
The section, depicting the Apprentice Pillar and telling the story of the ancient Rosslyn Chapel, was stolen from Kirkcaldy Art Gallery whilst it was on display there in September, 2015.
Despite a police investigationand appeals for the panel’s return, the thief has never been identified and the panel has never been recovered.
Now team of seven original stitchers, who all live in Roslin, have painstakingly re-created a replacement.
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.”
Together, seamstresses Margaret Humphries, Jean Lindsay, Anne Beedie, Jinty Murray, Barbara Stokes, Fiona McIntosh and Phillipa Peat worked for hundreds of hours to embroider the replacement which can now take it’s rightful place within the Great Tapestry of Scotland’s narrative.
Stitcher Fiona McIntosh told the Fife Free Press: “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.”
Now the finished work will join the other 159 as it continues to tour Scotland.
Since it went on public display in 2013, the tapestry, which took around 50,000 sewing hours to complete and contains more than 300 miles of yarn, has been viewed by over 350,000 people.