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Harrods unveils Diana, Dodi statue

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The statue of Diana and Dodi Fayed is titled "Innocent Victims"

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- London department store Harrods has unveiled a bronze statue to pay tribute to Princess Diana and her lover, Dodi Fayed, eight years after the pair were killed in a Paris car crash.

Harrods owner and father of Dodi, Mohamed al Fayed, said he wanted to create a memorial at Harrods to help keep the pair's spirits alive.

Inspiration for the statue comes from Diana and Dodi's last few days together spent holidaying in the Mediterranean, a statement issued by Harrods said.

The statue, designed by Harrods artistic designer Bill Mitchell, shows the pair dancing beneath the wings of an albatross, symbolizing freedom and eternity.

The waters of the Mediterranean lap around their feet.

The bronze statue was cast at the Bronze Age Foundry in East London.

Originally sculpted in clay, the statue was created using a method whereby molten bronze is poured into a wax-filled mould of the original clay figures, melting and displacing the wax, and leaving a perfect version of the original.

Harrods has had a memorial of the pair, with a photograph of each of them, since soon after the couple's death.

"Many thousands of people have written to me over the last several years thanking me for remembering the lives of Dodi and Diana with the memorial at Harrods," al Fayed said in a statement.

"In the absence of any further official memorial for these two innocent victims ... I wanted to keep their spirits alive with a further gesture."

Al Fayed described the problem-plagued Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in London's Hyde Park, which first opened in July 2004, as a "sewer."

Al Fayed said the new Harrods statue is titled "Innocent Victims."

Since the pair's deaths on 31 August, 1997, al Fayed has insisted they were murdered, even conducting his own inquiry into the case.

"Many people have tried to silence me, but I will not be deterred in my quest for the truth. Even now, eight years on, I am uncovering evidence which will prove these beautiful young people were assassinated."

"I am a father who lost both his son and a great friend in Diana, and like anyone else in that position, I will fight until my dying breath to get the truth."

An official British inquest into the accident was opened in January, but it adjourned to allow a police investigation led by former Metropolitan Police Commissioner John Stevens.

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