A city centre funeral and wake was held this morning after council chiefs ordered Kyloe Restaurant to remove the iconic fibre glass cow statue protruding from its first floor window.
It was a moo-ving service held in loving memory of an udderly special companion.
The well-attended ceremony - complete with gospel choir, coffin and tasteful flower arrangements - saw more than 60 mourners gather outside the restaurant on Rutland Street to pay their respects to the bovine artwork.
And a special wake was even held after the event to allow staff and guests to share their memories of the doomed cow over a cup of tea and a sandwich.
Officials insisted the quirky statue had a “detrimental effect on the character of the listed building” and demanded the restaurant remove it in December 2013.
A city-wide campaign was immediately launched to save the cow - with more than 3000 people signing their name to a special petition set up by the restaurant.
But in October last year the council made its final decision, and early on Tuesday morning the cow was removed from the window with the help of a cherry picker.
Louise MacLean, head of marketing for the restaurant, said the unusual funeral had been 12 months in the making.
She added: “We knew it was coming, and it was important to get the mood right. The majority of the public loved the cow and we followed the process as far as we could with appeals.
“But this is not about lambasting the council, it’s about letting the public know that it was not our decision. It’s about maintaining a sense of humour.”
And Nic Wood, owner of the Signature Pub Group - of which Kyloe is part - insisted he was proud of his team’s “extraordinary sense of humour” as they bid farewell to their bovine companion.
He said: “The cow sculpture started out as a desperate plea to customers to tell them where we were amidst the debilitating tram works and became a fantastic symbol for our restaurant and a beacon for the much beleaguered West End.
“I am aggrieved that we have been forced to remove the Kyloe cow and am disappointed that the City of Edinburgh Council are demonstrating such a spectacular sense of humour failure in enforcing this action.”
A council spokeswoman said: “The Council served a Listed Building and an Advertisement enforcement notice on 24 October 2014.
“These notices took effect on 28 November 2014, and gave the owner 3 months to remove the unauthorised cow and signage.
“No appeal was made and the owner had until 28 February 2015 to comply with these notices.”