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Edinburgh World Heritage/Morocco’s Land

Morocco’s Land


A memento of exile

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Perched high up on a building in the Canongate is a strange sculpture, which some say represents the Emperor of Morocco.

In the 17th century one Andrew Gray was accused of assaulting the unpopular Provost of Edinburgh, but managed to flee the country before his execution. He ended up a slave of the Emperor of Morocco, but managed to rise through the ranks of the Emperor’s court. Eventually he returned to Edinburgh, cured the Provost’s daughter of plague, married her and set up home in the Canongate tenement.

The tenement was rebuilt in the 1950s, but the turbaned figure remains.