Wooden plaques stolen from Orkney's Italian Chapel

Theft comes as the chapel marks its 70th anniversary

Updated: 
Wooden plaques stolen from Orkney's Italian Chapel

Three hand-carved wooden plaques have been stolen from the historic Italian Chapel in Orkney.

The building, on the island of Lamb Holm, was constructed by Italian prisoners of war during the Second World War.

The stolen plaques were among 14 gifted to the chapel by its creator Domenico Chiocchetti when he returned to visit with his wife in 1964.

It is thought they were stolen sometime between July 29 and yesterday.

John Muir, secretary of the Italian Chapel Preservation Committee, said the theft had caused much upset.

He said: "The plaques are very significant because it was a personal gift from the artist who brought them over when he first took his wife to Orkney.

"They were carved in his own town and he brought them over as a personal gift. It's devastating to think that someone would lower themselves to steal three of the plaques.

"People are very, very upset. Everyone I've spoken to this morning has expressed their disappointment and disgust at the situation."

Mr Chiocchetti, who died in 1999, was from Moena in northern Italy.

Each plaque is made of mahogany and measures around 6in x 8in, with a cross on top.

There is an image of Christ carved on each and they are individually numbered by Roman numerals.

The missing plaques are numbers four, six and 10, Mr Muir said.

Police have appealed for information about the whereabouts of the plaques and any details about who is responsible for their disappearance.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have taken digital photographs at the chapel interior between July 29 and yesterday to help narrow down the time-frame of the theft.

Images and contact details can be emailed to HighlandIslandMailKirkwall@scotland.pnn.police.uk.

The set of Stations Of The Cross plaques depicts the journey of Christ to the cross.

They were on open display in the chapel.

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