Harrods to remove Diana statue

This file photo shows a memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed at Harrods in London. (AFP)
Updated 13 January 2018
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Harrods to remove Diana statue

LONDON: London luxury department store Harrods said on Saturday it was taking down a statue of the late Princess Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed and returning it to former owner Mohamed Al-Fayed.
Al-Fayed commissioned the bronze statue, which shows his son and Diana holding hands and releasing a bird, after they were killed in a Paris car crash in 1997.
It remained there after he sold Harrods to the investment arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund in 2010.
But the store’s managing director, Michael Ward, said it was now time to return it, noting that Diana’s sons Princes William and Harry were commissioning their own statue to their mother at Kensington Palace.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
A spokesman for the Al-Fayed family told The Times newspaper it was “grateful” to Qatar Holdings for preserving the memorial of the couple, adding: “It is now time to bring them home.”


Python selfie puts Indian forest ranger in tight spot

Updated 18 June 2018
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Python selfie puts Indian forest ranger in tight spot

  • The Indian rock python is a non-venomous species, but it can quickly kill its prey by constricting blood flow

KOLKATA: An India forestry ranger found himself in a bind after a python briefly strangled him while he posed for pictures with the giant snake.
Wildlife officer Sanjay Dutta was called in Sunday by frantic villagers in West Bengal after they saw the 40-kilogramme (88-pound) python swallowing a goat alive.
Instead of placing it safely inside a bag, the ranger wrapped it around his neck and posed for pictures with stunned villagers.
But panic spread as the huge snake wound itself around Dutta’s neck, forcing him to struggle to free himself from its vice-like grip.
He escaped unscathed, but a little red-faced.
The Indian rock python is a non-venomous species, but it can quickly kill its prey by constricting blood flow and can grow up to 10 meters (33 feet) long.
West Bengal’s forest department has launched an official inquiry into the ranger’s conduct and flouting of safety protocols.
But Dutta said he only wanted to save the reptile from the villagers who were readying to club it to death with sticks.
“My first instinct was to rescue the snake. I carried it on my shoulders and held its mouth firmly,” Dutta told AFP.
“I was not scared for even a moment (when the python tightened its grip) because had I panicked, it could have been fatal.”
Dutta said he did not have a bag to carry the snake, which he transported to a safe location in his car and released into the wild.