Salmond's Vettriano Christmas card raises £86,000

Jack Vettriano and Alex Salmond with the painting used on the Christmas card Let's Twist Again was expected to raise £25,000 at auction

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A Jack Vettriano painting featured on the 2010 First Minister's Christmas card has raised £86,000 for charity.

The original oil painting and limited edition prints of the image were sold at auction in St Andrews on Friday.

The original image of Let's Twist Again, featuring a dancing couple at a festive party, raised £68,000 while the prints went for £18,000.

The money will go to Bethany Christian Trust, Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres, Quarriers and Teenage Cancer Trust.

Alex Salmond said: "Jack is a great supporter of good causes and his distinctive style is recognised around the world. He has proven himself time and again to be Scotland's painter of the people."

Let's Twist Again, which was expected to sell for about £25,000 at the auction, was unveiled by Mr Salmond at the National Gallery of Scotland in December.

The national galleries had previously declined to display any of Mr Vettriano's works, but it was announced on Thursday his self-portrait The Weight will be exhibited at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery from September.

'Worthwhile causes'

Mr Vettriano said: "I'm really pleased that Let's Twist Again has achieved such a positive result for the four charities."

He added that it was a "privilege to be involved with such worthwhile causes".

The Bethany Trust said its share will support homeless and vulnerable people in Fife, where the painter was born.

The Teenage Cancer Trust intends to put its share towards a specialist unit at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

A spokeswoman for Maggies said the money raised would "make a huge difference", helping Maggies to support people with cancer.

The Quarriers share is to be used for the charity's work with people with disabilities and their families.

Mr Salmond's previous three cards raised about £50,000 for charitable causes.

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