RSA centurion calls for hidden artwork’s recovery

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AN ARTIST aged 100 who is the Royal Scottish Academy’s oldest member wants a work revealed after it spent more than 50 years behind wallpaper.

Painter Derek Clarke, who ­celebrated his birthday on Hogmanay, created a huge mural in 1957 for The Sacred Heart Church in Lauriston. The life-sized risen Christ was surrounded by figures and faces including parishioners, the then-Cardinal and the artist’s own family, all in 50s fashion.

But, in the 60s, the church covered the scene. It was lined with flour and paper and covered with wallpaper. It has lain unseen apart from a brief glimpse in the 1990s. Now, as the RSA hosts an exhibition, The Artist at 100, to honour his landmark birthday and showcase his work, Mr Clarke has called for the mural to be revealed.

He said: “I’m hoping that perhaps ten years after I’ve died somebody will think of unveiling it.”