Harrods to return Diana and Dodi statue to Mohamed al Fayed

Crowds mob Mohammed al Fayed outside Harrods to pay respects to Diana and Dodi

Crowds mob Mohammed al Fayed outside Harrods to pay respects to Diana and Dodi

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.

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.

"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 20 years", managing director Michael Ward told HELLO!

Al Fayed has accused the royals of masterminding the death of Diana and his son, and as a result Harrods lost its royal warrant in 2000.

He maintains their deaths in a Paris vehicle crash in 1997 were not an accident. It will be returned to Al-Fayed, who commissioned it following their deaths and when he still owned the store. The statue was added in 2005.

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"With the announcement of a new official statue in memory of Diana (...), we believe it is time to return this statue to Al-Fayed and to invite the public to pay tribute to the palace", he added. Royal biographer Penny Junor said: "It was personal to him and since it's no longer his shop I think its fair the new owners give it back".

It was ordered by Dodi's father, Mohammed Al-Fayed, after the couple's death in a auto accident on 31 August 1997 in Paris.

Harrods did not specify the date when the statue would be removed. "This has allowed millions of people to pay tribute to these two great people and remember them".

"It is now time to bring them home".

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

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