Exclusive by Paul O'Hare The Daily Record
THE gang who stole a £50million masterpiece from a Scottish castle can never cash in on it, says a former FBI agent and art expert.
Thomas McShane told the thieves it would be best to leave the Leonardo Da Vinci painting in a railway luggage locker and tip off police.
The Madonna And The Yarnwinder was pinched in 2003 from Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfriesshire - home of the Duke of Buccleuch - by a four-man gang.
But Thomas, who has recovered more than £450million of stolen art during his career, reckons it was an opportunist theft.
He said: "What they have is the equivalent of the Mona Lisa and they are never going to get rid of it. It will show up eventually."
And Thomas hit out at the lack of security at the castle.
He said: "What bank can you walk into in Scotland and see £50million on the wall with a tour guide protecting it? "We have to wake up.
"What you had with the Da Vinci was a £50million artwork saying, 'Takeme, take me' and they took it. It is such a shame."
The theft is number seven on the FBI's top 10 art crimes.
One of the robbers told witnesses the raid was a police training exercise.
The gang fled in a white Volkswagen Golf, later found abandoned near the castle.
It is thought the thieves then used a black BMW to escape.
And Thomas, 63, believes photos taken by a tourist couple at the time could be invaluable.
He said: "You are so lucky to have those people from New Zealand who were there with their cameras and took pictures.
"Those pictures should be plastered on billboards all over the country together with the £1million reward."
Thomas, who has just published his memoirs Loot: Inside The World Of Stolen Art, worked as an undercover agent for 36 years and assumed several aliases to trick thieves into parting with their stolen treasures.