The controversial statue of the late Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed is set to be removed from Knightsbridge department store Harrods and returned to the latter’s father, former owner Mohammed Al-Fayed.
Revealed in 2005, the statue in question was found on the lower ground floor of the iconic London store. Standing three metres high, the ‘Innocent Victims’ features bronze figures of Diana and Dodi, dancing underneath a dove. 20 years after their deaths, Harrods said that now was an ‘appropriate time’ to move on.
‘We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past twenty years,’ said managing director Michael Ward.
‘With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, 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 concluded.
‘We are grateful to Qatar Holdings for preserving the Dodi and Diana memorial at Harrods until now,’ Al-Fayed said in a statement. ‘It has enabled millions of people to pay their respects and remember these two remarkable people. It is now time to bring them home.’
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The Princess donned 90's athleisure in 1995 as she left Chelsea Harbour Club in London.
A second memorial to the pair, which has been in place since 1998 and features photographs of both alongside a ring which Dodi allegedly intended to give to Diana, has also been returned to Mr. Al-Fayed, who sold Harrods to the Qatari royal family in 2010 for a reported $1.5 billion.
According to a report in the Telegraph, the new owners’ decision might point to a desire to win back the coveted royal warrant, which the department store lost in 2000 after nearly 90 years of patronage.
It is thought that Mr Al-Fayed’s claims that the deaths of Diana and his son were not accidental, despite an official investigation eventually ruling this out, may have influenced the royal family’s decision to part ways with the store.