Page last updated at 14:43 GMT, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Leonardo da Vinci raid 'deeply upset' duke

Madonna of the Yarnwinder
The duke was said to have been deeply affected by the loss of the work

A duke was "deeply upset" by the theft of a Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece and the lack of progress in recovering it, his son has told a court.

The Madonna of the Yarnwinder was said to have played a "very special part" in the life of the late Duke of Buccleuch.

His son, the current duke, said it was a "huge relief" when the artwork was eventually recovered undamaged.

Five men are on trial accused of trying to extort £4.25m for its return. They are not charged with the robbery.

The painting was taken from Drumlanrig Castle, north of Dumfries, in August 2003.

Richard Montagu Douglas Scott, the 10th Duke of Buccleuch, said his family had had to contemplate that the artwork - valued at £20m in 2008 - might have been destroyed.

He was giving evidence on the third day of the trial of five men accused of plotting to extort £4.25m for the safe return of the piece.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that his father, John, died on 4 September 2007, a month before the painting was recovered.

'Emotionally important'

He agreed with prosecutor Simon Di Rollo that his father had been "particularly fond" of the painting.

He said: "It was hugely emotionally important for all of us in the family, but I think for my father in particular, who felt most keenly its loss.

"It was clear to anyone who knew him that he was deeply upset by the loss and by the lack of any progress in recovering the painting."

On trial are Marshall Ronald, 53, Robert Graham, 57, and John Doyle, 61, all from Lancashire, Calum Jones, 45, from Renfrewshire, and David Boyce, 63, from Lanarkshire.

They have denied conspiring to extort £4.25m and an alternative charge of attempted extortion.

The offence is alleged to have taken place between July and October 2007.

The trial continues.



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SEE ALSO
Gardener pursued da Vinci raiders
02 Mar 10 |  South of Scotland
Da Vinci robbery details recalled
01 Mar 10 |  South of Scotland
Stolen da Vinci back on display
17 Dec 09 |  Scotland
Trial date for da Vinci accused
19 Oct 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Da Vinci painting stolen
27 Aug 03 |  Scotland

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