Panel of Scottish Diaspora tapestry stolen from St Giles

An artist has been left shocked and gutted after a brazen thief stole a tapestry panel from a cathedral just days after it went on display.

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The new Scottish Diaspora tapestry was created by Andrew Crummy. Picture: Lisa FergusonThe new Scottish Diaspora tapestry was created by Andrew Crummy. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
The new Scottish Diaspora tapestry was created by Andrew Crummy. Picture: Lisa Ferguson


Andrew Crummy’s design, Scottish Diaspora, was stolen from St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on Sunday.

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Bizarrely, it is the second time Andrew’s work has been targeted after a panel from another tapestry was stolen while it was on display in Kirkcaldy Galleries in September 2015.

The original panel from the 2015 theft, called the Great Tapestry of Scotland, which depicted the Apprentice Pillar at Rosslyn Chapel has never been found.

Andrew and a team of volunteers painstakingly recreated the panel.

But the latest theft involved a tapestry which had just returned from a world tour. It has more than 300 panels.

Speaking yesterday (Mon), Andrew spoke of his shock as he learned about the theft.

He said: “I’m quite shocked, to be honest. I had no idea it had actually been stolen, nobody told me.

“It’s upsetting because the people who have stitched this tapestry are all volunteers.

“It’s a community art project. Who would want to steal this? It’s a shame,” he added.

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“I just find it very strange that someone would want to steal it. I’d be very surprised if it was linked to my other theft.”

The stolen panel is one of a collection from the Netherlands and celebrates the Scottish community in Veere, where they had their own areas in the church and cemetery.

This meant that services, marriages, baptisms and funerals could all take place according to Scottish custom.

The left-hand side of this panel shows Rev Alexander McDuff in 1614, who was the first Scottish clergymen in office in Veere.

While on the right is the last, Rev Lickly, who held a moving farewell service when the kirk was closed in 1799 after the French invasion.

The upper border of the panel shows four engraved communion cups which were commissioned for the Scots Kirk in 1620.

The bottom right corner of the panel recalls a story that, in 1621, two bells for St Giles in Edinburgh and one for the city’s Netherbow Port were foundered in Veere.

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The Netherbow bell now hangs at the Scottish Storytelling Centre near the site of the old gate.

In a statement, Police Scotland said: “Police in Edinburgh are investigating following the high-value theft of a tapestry panel from St Giles Cathedral.

“The incident happened sometime between 2.30 p.m. and 2.45 p.m. on Sunday 7th May and inquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible and return the item.

“Anyone with information should contact police immediately.”

A spokeswoman for St Giles Cathedral said: “It’s very sad and disappointing that someone would steal something which meant so much to others, especially from a cathedral.

“We remain hopeful that the panel will be traced or returned. Anyone with any information please come forward.”