POLICE are investigating after a panel from the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry was stolen from St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.

The tapestry, which was designed by Andrew Crummy, the artist behind the Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry, has just returned to Scotland after a world tour.

It has more than 300 panels, each detailing how Scots have had an impact around the globe, celebrating their contribution.

The exhibition at the cathedral opened on Thursday last week and is due to run until next Thursday, May 18.

It is the first time all 305 panels have gone on show in one venue.

However the panel was taken from the cathedral at around 2.30pm on Sunday by someone who was caught removing it on CCTV.

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

The tapestry was launched at the 3 Harbours Arts Festival in 2014. It is due to return to Prestonpans Community Centre for this year's festival.

A Police Scotland spokesman 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, May 7,and inquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible and return the item.

"Anyone with information should contact police immediately."