Gang bursts through treasured 15ft mural in cafe break-in
McPhersons Hanging is on loan to the Kelpie Cafe at Banff Castle in Aberdeenshire.
A gang burst through one of Aberdeenshire's most treasured artworks after breaking into a disability cafe.
McPhersons Hanging, which is 15ft long, is on loan to the Kelpie Cafe at Banff Castle.
The mural has been left with a gaping hole in it after vandals entered the building through a window.
The painting, by art teacher John Stewart, only returned to the area in 2014 after spending more than 20 years in an Edinburgh attic.
It was loaned to the cafe by John Milne, of Whitehills, who is a former pupil of Mr Stewart.
The mural satirises one of Banff's most notorious characters James McPherson and features prominent political figures from the 1970s including ex-Prime Minister Ted Heath, former SNP MP Hamish Watt and trade union activist Jimmy Reid.
News of the break-in was posted on the Macduff and its Community Facebook page by Mark McDermott.
He wrote: "On the night of Thursday, January 4, the Kelpie Cafe at Banff Castle was broken into through a window and double glazing unit.
"The thieves then smashed through the painting McPherson's Hanging.
"I am particularity upset because the painting was bought by John Milne, of Whitehills, and returned from Edinburgh to Banff and loaned to the cafe for the public to enjoy.
"I would urge anyone with information to contact Police Scotland on 101. Please feel free to share."