Diana and Dodi statue to leave Harrods

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    bronze statue in Harrods with then owner Mohamed Al FayedImage copyright Getty Images
    Image caption Harrods’ former owner Mohamed Al Fayed (left) unveiled the statue in 2005

    A bronze statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed is to be removed from the luxury department store, Harrods.

    It will be returned to the west London store’s former owner and father of Dodi, Mohamed Al Fayed, who commissioned the memorial after the pair were killed in 1997.

    With the announcement of a new memorial at Kensington Palace, Harrods said the time was right to return the statue.

    Mr Al Fayad sold Harrods to the Qatari Royal family in 2010 for about £1.5bn.

    Unveiled in 2005, Innocent Victims depicts the pair dancing beneath a dove.

    Michael Ward, managing director at Harrods, said he had been proud to have welcomed people from around the world to see the memorial over the past 20 years.

    “We feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace,” he added.

    Last year, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry announced plans for a new sculpture to commemorate their mother in the public grounds of Kensington Palace.

    The Princess of Wales was killed on 31 August 1997 in a car crash in Paris, alongside close friend, Dodi Al Fayed.

    Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption A shrine was set up in the store shortly after the accident in 1997

    Mr Al Fayed maintained the deaths were not an accident, although an official investigation ruled out foul play.

    In 2000, the Egyptian-born tycoon broke commercial ties between Harrods and the Royal Family when he removed the royal warrants.

    Ten years later, he revealed he had had the “cursed” warrants burned.

    In a statement to the Times, the Al Fayed family thanked Qatar Holdings for “preserving” the memorial until now.

    “It has enabled millions of people to pay their respects and remember these two remarkable people,” it added.

    “It is now time to bring them home.”

    In 2011, Mr Al Fayed had a statue of Michael Jackson installed at Fulham Football Club, which he owned at the time.

    Years later, he claimed the club was relegated because the new owner had had it taken down.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42671506


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