'Priceless' piece of Scottish Diaspora Tapestry stolen
One of the panels was taken from St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh on Sunday.
A "priceless" piece of the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry has been stolen in Edinburgh.
One of the 305 panels in the tapestry, which celebrates Scottish culture around the world, was stolen from St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh on Sunday afternoon.
More than a thousand people around the world contributed to the tapestry, with people of Scottish heritage stitching different panels to represent aspects of the country and its people.
It went on display in its entirety for the first time last week at St Giles' Cathedral after travelling through dozens of countries for three years.
Police say a man entered the building and viewed the tapestry at around 3.30pm.
He removed a 50cm by 50cm panel known as The Kirk and left via the shop.
Detectives are now trying to trace the suspect, who is described as being 6ft with a slim build and had a receding hairline and a fair complexion.
Detective constable Chris Harding from Gayfield CID said: "The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry is a priceless piece of artwork with great historical significance and this brazen act of destruction and theft has left the owners of the tapestry and the staff at St Giles' Cathedral shocked.
"As part of our enquiries we are keen to hear from anyone recognises the description of the suspect or who is approached by anyone looking to sell or pass on the stolen panel.
"In addition, anyone with any further information that can assist with our ongoing investigation should come forward."
The suspect was wearing a white top and, light-coloured trousers and was carrying a jacket.
Sarah O'Connor Phemister, visitor centre manager at St Giles' Cathedral said: "We're disappointed and very sad that a panel of the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry was stolen while on display in St Giles'.
"We are doing everything we can to assist the police in their investigation and are hopeful that the panel will be recovered.
"This beautiful artwork has been lovingly sewn, by people across the globe as a celebration of the contributions of Scottish people and their descendants. As such, its value is beyond price.
"We appeal to whoever took the panel to return it as soon as possible."
Anyone with information has been asked to contact Gayfield CID via 101 and quote incident number 2639 of May 7.
Reports can me made anonymously through the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.