Louvre to exhibit Balintore shed door marble bust
A sculpture which was thought to have been lost before it was found propping open a shed door is to be exhibited in world galleries, including The Louvre.
The marble bust of Highland laird and MP Sir John Gordon is estimated to be worth about £1.4m.
Made by French artist Edmé Bouchardon in 1728, the sculpture is thought to have been mislaid and then lost before being rediscovered in 1998.
High Life Highland looks after the bust on behalf of Highland Council.
After being displayed at The Louvre in Paris, the artwork is to be put on show at the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
Sir John's family owned land in Easter Ross in the Highlands and also gave their name to the town of Invergordon on the Cromarty Firth.
Years after it was made, the bust was placed in the care of Invergordon Town Council.
It was then thought to have been mislaid and lost during local government reorganisation before it was rediscovered being used as a door stop for a shed in an industrial estate in Balintore, near Invergordon.
Two years ago, a row broke out after Highland Council suggested it might sell the bust.
Rob Gibson, MSP for the local area at the time, argued against the local authority going ahead with the sale because he believed the artwork was bequeathed to the community of Invergordon in the 1920s.
Documents backing the community claim to the bust were thought to have been destroyed some time in the past 40 years.
After the exhibitions in Paris and Los Angeles, the sculpture will be returned to the care of High Life Highland early next year.