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Sunday, 2 December, 2001, 09:35 GMT
Harrison's ashes 'to be scattered'
George Harrison asked to have his ashes scattered in India.
Harrison is said to have recorded a 'secret' new album
The family of George Harrison are believed to be preparing to scatter his ashes on a river in India, in accordance with his final wishes.

The ex-Beatle was cremated in a cardboard coffin without a ceremony just hours after his death, as his Eastern faith required.

According to reports Harrison, 58, was secretly recording an album provisionally called 'Portrait of a Leg End' before his death and had put down 25 tracks.

It is also claimed he healed a rift with his 70-year-old American sister in the days before his death, probably at the request of his wife Olivia.

Simple prayer

Funeral directors Hollywood Forever were called to the Los Angeles home of Harrison's friend Gavin de Becker just 20 minutes after he died there.

Some of the new songs are very poignant, concerning his life in the past few years

Jim Keltner
He was taken to a crematorium after his family held hands around his death-bed and said a simple prayer over his body.

His wife Olivia and son Dhani were given the ashes after the service, which cost less than 350.

A member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness suggested Harrison's ashes may be scattered on the River Yamuna in India, which runs through Harrison's favourite spiritual retreat.

He said: "He would stay there for several days at a time. It was a place he could worship with peace of mind for no-one knew who he was in India.

"George wanted to keep his death a private matter, just like his life."

New album

The final George Harrison album was referred to as 'Portrait of a Leg-end' as a joking reference to his celebrity and his involvement with Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Olivia Harrison
Olivia asked George to make amends with his sister
Dr Gil Lederman, of the Staten Island University Hospital in New York, the last doctor treat Harrison for cancer, said: "One (of the songs) was called, 'Brainwashed', about government and people."

California-based musician Jim Keltner, who played drums on some of the tracks, was quoted in the Sunday Times as saying: "Some of the new songs are very poignant, concerning his life in the past few years.

"The CD is very close to finishing."

Healed rift

In America the New York Daily News said Harrison healed a long-standing rift with his sister Louise before his death.

They fell out when she opened a bed and breakfast in her home in Illinois called Hard Day's Nite - a project which reportedly "appalled" him.

It is thought Louise drove 1,000 miles from her home to New York to see her brother, who she had not spoken to in four years.

A source close to the family said: "He was very clear about what he wanted and what he didn't want. He didn't want to see his sister.

"But finally, probably because his wife Olivia encouraged him, they spent a half hour together. They reconciled."

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