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Madeleine's picture 'to appear in new Harry Potter book'

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Madeleine's picture 'to appear in new Harry Potter book'

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Madeleine's picture could appear inside millions of copies of the new Harry Potter book

JK Rowling is considering putting bookmarks bearing the face of missing Madeleine McCann in copies of her final instalment about the world's favourite boy wizard.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and last book in the series, is due out on July 21 amid mass publishing hysteria.

Indirect approaches have been made to the author about featuring Madeleine in the books and a decision is expected soon.

Kate and Gerry McCann are determined to keep their daughter's abduction in the public eye in the hope that someone might hold the key to her whereabouts.

They are halfway through a series of trips around Europe and Morocco to raise the profile of the four-year-old's disappearance.

They are considering meeting famous north African athletes such as Ethiopia's Haile Gebreselassie and Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj to raise the profile.

It is now 30 days since Madeleine was snatched from her bedroom in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.

Rowling has already publicly supported the campaign to find Madeleine by contributing to a multi-million pound reward and has been asked about involving the little girl in the launch of her latest book.

Mr McCann said: "There has been some indirect contact with her. We are thinking about getting bookmarks with Madeleine´s photographs and getting the author´s agreement.

"Someone like JK Rowling has got massive appeal but we would have to speak to her directly. A Harry Potter book would be ideal."

Mr McCann said the author had only been approached because of her earlier backing.

"JK Rowling's public support and offers of help were prompted completely by her," he said.

The McCanns are realistic about the fact that media interest in their daughter will die down.

But they are planning to hold a Madeleine Day in the next couple of months to remind people if she still has not been found.

Mr McCann said: "I think it would be later this year, once the media attention has dropped down to bring it back up hopefully for a short period to remind people."

He said the day might focus around sport or music, with possible backing from one of the celebrities who has already backed the campaign.

"Elton John obviously played the (appeal) DVD before he went on stage at the start of his tour.

"We've got some other musical contacts that we are exploring who are happy to offer support.

"What we want is to get the maximum message out there now about her disappearance. Then we will do things to bring it back up occasionally just to remind people if she is not found."

Copyright Press Association 2007.

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