Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

High-end London department store reportedly removing Princess Diana memorial

The statue will be returned to Mohamed Al Fayed eight years after he sold the store The statue will be returned to Mohamed Al Fayed eight years after he sold the store Tim Rooke Rex Features
Bennie Garza | 14 January, 2018, 03:38

The bronze sculpture of the Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed was installed at the famous Harrods store in London after the pair died in a vehicle crash back in 1997.

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

But its new owners were acutely aware that as long as the controversial, three-metre high bronze statue of the pair, entitled Innocent Victims, remained on the lower ground floor, there was little chance of regaining that honour. "I always thought it was tacky".

The businessman commissioned the bronze statue, depicting his son and Diana dancing, after the two were killed in a Paris auto crash in 1997.

Camera IconCrowds outside Harrods in 1997 where pictures of Diana and Dodi were placed in a window.

Until the ugly aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales and her lover, Dodi Fayed, Harrods had been the proud holder of continuous royal warrants since 1913.

"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 added.

Mr Al Fayed sold Harrods to the Qatari royal family in 2010 for a reported £1.5 billion.

Store bosses said they had consulted Mr Fayed on the move but would not say how he felt.

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

The store is a heritage listed building so the statue and shrine will need to be removed carefully to avoid damaging its architecture.

The bronze statue, named "Innocent Victims, ' was erected in 2005 to commemorate Diana and Dodi eight years after they died in a Paris auto crash".

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

"It has enabled millions to pay respects and remember these two remarkable people".

This story originally appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission.

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