Historic Thomas Blake Glover House has been stripped of lead and targeted by vandals as Aberdeen City Council get ready to take over the prized property.
The theft at the house in Balgownie Road, Bridge of Don, once home to the famous industrialist, has pushed up the total repair bill to be footed by the local authority by thousands of pounds.
Police said inquiries were continuing into the lead theft from the roof but there were no suspects at this time.
Glover, who was born in Fraserburgh, lived at the house as a boy in the 1840s before heading to Japan where he made his fortune after founding the global giant Mitsubishi.
Known as the Scottish Samurai, he is widely credited with shaping modern post-feudal Japan and is highly revered in the country where his former home in Nagasaki is visited by 2million people every year.
By contrast, the house in Bridge of Don, which was gifted by Mitsubishi in the 1990s, has sat empty for two years after the trust charged with running it as an education centre ran into financial difficulties.
Conservative councillor Ross Thomson, of Hazlehead, Ashley and Queen’s Cross ward, has been instrumental in trying to bring the house back into use.
He said of the theft: “It is very disappointing and it shows a lack of respect for the building and its heritage. It highlights exactly why we are working to bring it back into good use and restored to its former glory, and not allowed to decline any further.
“This historic building is a huge symbol not just of Aberdeen’s relationship with the global community but Scotland’s too.”
The theft and vandalism , will further inflate the £370,000 in costs to the council associated with the takeover. This includes repairs, legal fees and corporation tax.
A final vote on taking over the property will now be taken at full council next week.