The controversial statue of the late Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed is set to be removed from the London department store Harrods and returned to Dodi's father, former owner Mohammed Al-Fayed.
Revealed in 2005, the statue is found on the lower ground floor of the iconic store. Standing almost ten feet tall, "Innocent Victims" features bronze figures of Diana and Dodi dancing underneath a dove. Twenty years after their deaths, Harrods said that now was an "appropriate time" to move on.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
"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."
A second memorial to the pair, which has been in place since 1998 and features photographs of both alongside a ring that Dodi allegedly intended to give to Diana, is also going to be returned to Al-Fayed. He 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 Al-Fayed’s claims that the deaths of Diana and his son were not accidental, despite an official investigation eventually ruling this out, might have influenced the royal family’s decision to part ways with the store.
This post was written by Ellie Wiseman. For more, check out our sister site Grazia.