The artist who created a mural destroyed during a break-in has vowed to help restore it.
Retired art teacher John Stewart created the painting of Scots outlaw James McPherson, which proudly hung in The Kelpie Cafe at Banff Castle.
But during a break-in earlier this month, thieves ripped through the 15ft piece.
Last night, 84-year-old Mr Stewart branded it a “tragedy” and said that even if it took the help of locals to hoist him up, he would get it repaired.
After visiting the cafeto view The Hanging of McPherson, he said: “I suppose there a lot of tragedies happening in the world and this is just another one.
“When I saw the thing I thought it might repair and luckily there is a lot of the painting left.
“Somebody asked if I can help and I said I would love to if I can, although someone might have to hold me up.
“I would like to paint any bits just make sure it was presentable. I will do what I can and take advice from anybody.”
Mark McDermott, day service manager at the Kelpie Cafe, said he was “delighted” that Mr Stewart was supporting the effort.
He said: “We are delighted that John Stewart has come on board for restoring the painting.
“He is keen to be involved and I think it will add to the speed of getting it back on display and restored fully.
“John has a wealth of experience and knowledge.
“He created the painting in the early 70s when he was an art teacher at the local academy.
“I know that even now he is still painting and we would be delighted for him to work on this painting.”
After the damage was discovered, a crowdfunder was launched to help cover some of the repair costs – with almost £750 of the target now reached.
The painting is currently being stored at Banff Castle, with repairs already under way.
It only returned to the north-east four years ago, after spending two decades in an attic in Edinburgh. Local businessman Jon Milne, from Whitehills – a former pupil of Mr Stewart – bought the painting and brought it back to the town.