Innocent Victims

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Innocent Victims
112407-Harrods-DiannaDodiMemorial1.jpg
The memorial in 2007
Coordinates 51°29′59″N 00°09′49″W / 51.49972°N 0.16361°W / 51.49972; -0.16361Coordinates: 51°29′59″N 00°09′49″W / 51.49972°N 0.16361°W / 51.49972; -0.16361
Location Harrods department store, London
Designer William Mitchell
Type Sculpture
Material Bronze
Dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales. Dodi Fayed
1998 memorial to Diana and Dodi in Harrods
Alternative view showing the Egyptian carvings that form the background to both of the Dodi and Diana monuments.

Innocent Victims is a bronze statue of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed, which has been on display at the Harrods department store in London, England, since 2005. It was commissioned by Dodi's father Mohamed Al-Fayed when he owned Harrods, and designed by William Mitchell.

Background[edit]

The statue is the second of two memorials in Harrods to Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed, both commissioned by Mohamed Al-Fayed, Dodi's father, who owned the store from 1985 to 2010. The first memorial, unveiled in April 1998, is a pyramid-shaped display containing photos of Dodi and Diana, a wine glass said to be from their last dinner, and a ring said to have been purchased by Dodi the day prior to the crash in which they both died.[1][2]

Design and creation[edit]

The statue was designed by London-born sculptor William Mitchell[3] and cast in bronze using the lost wax method at the Bronze Age Foundry in East London.[1] It depicts Diana and Dodi facing each other, clad in loose clothing that clings to their bodies. They are said to be dancing in Mediterranean waves. Dodi's right arm is raised and appears to be releasing a large bird, said to be an albatross symbolising "freedom and eternity".[4] Diana's left arm is also raised, gripping Dodi's hand. Their other arms are below their waists, the fingers just touching. There is a forward momentum in their poses, Diana's right leg bent and exposed by a dress cut to the top of her thigh. Dodi's right leg is completely off the base of the statue. Both are bare-footed. The inner curve of the wings of the bird has been described as forming a double D.[5]

Mitchell also designed the Egyptian escalator at Harrods and the associated carvings which form the background to both of the Dodi and Diana monuments.[6]

Unveiling[edit]

At the time of its unveiling in September 2005,[2] Al-Fayed said:

As we approach the eighth anniversary of Diana and Dodi's untimely death and in the absence of any further official memorial for these two victims – apart from the highly criticised fountain in Hyde Park – I wanted to keep their spirits alive with a further gesture ... I have named the sculpture Innocent Victims because for eight years I have fought to prove that my son and Princess Diana were murdered.[4]

Location[edit]

In January 2018, it was announced that the statue would be returned to the Al-Fayed family, seven years after Mohamed Al-Fayed sold Harrods to the Qatar Investment Authority.[7] At the time of the unveiling, Al-Fayed had said that the statue would stay at Harrods forever.[4] The Qatari owners are eager to regain the patronage of the British Royal family, and that this would have financial benefits, Harrods having been Royal Warrant holders continuously from 1913 to 2000 until "the ugly aftermath" of the death of Diana and Dodi.[2] The statue and memorial had attracted thousands of tourists.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Harrods unveils Diana, Dodi statue". CNN. 1 September 2005. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Harrods to return Diana and Dodi statue to Mohamed al Fayed. Victoria Ward, The Telegraph, 12 January 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  3. ^ Diana and Dodi statue to leave Harrods. BBC News, 13 January 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Al Fayed memorial to Diana and his son". The Guardian. 2 September 2005. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  5. ^ House of Dodi. Tom Morton, Bidoun, Spring 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
  6. ^ Director of Design at Harrods The Egyptian Escalator. William Mitchell. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  7. ^ 'Tacky' statue of Diana and Dodi Fayed to be removed from Harrods. Chris Johnston, The Guardian, 13 January 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2018.

External links[edit]