Denmark: Little Mermaid statue vandalised; branded 'racist fish' in graffiti attack

WION Web Team Copenhagen, Denmark Jul 04, 2020, 11.26 AM(IST)

The vandalised Little Mermaid sculpture in Copenhagen. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The 107-year-old bronze statue honours the famous fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen's that perches on a rock in the sea off a pier in Copenhagen.

The statue of the 'Little Mermaid' on the entrance to Copenhagen harbour has been daubed with the words “racist fish” scrawled across the base

The 107-year-old bronze statue honours the famous fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen's that perches on a rock in the sea off a pier in Copenhagen.

Also read: Australian mountain range named after Belgium's King Leopold II re-christened

Police said it had not yet identified the perpetrators. The sculpture designed by the sculptor Edvard Eriksen and modelled on his wife, Eline, is visited by one million tourists each year.

It has been vandalised several times before, by protesters, ranging from pro-democracy activists to anti-whaling campaigners, twice suffering decapitation.

Also read: 'I’m pro-heritage': PM Boris Johnson against Oxford's decision to remove Rhodes statue

"We consider it vandalism and have started an investigation," a spokesman for the Copenhagen police said.

Protesters of the Black Lives Matter movement around the world have in recent months rallied against statues of historical figures who played a role in racist oppression, such as slave traders and colonialists.

The Little Mermaid has not been part of this debate but last year a Disney live action remake of the 1989 animated film of the same name was the subject of a controversy after African American actress Halle Bailey was cast in the central role.

"I am having a hard time seeing what is particularly racist in the fairy tale "The Little Mermaid," Ane Grum-Schwensen, researcher at the H.C. Andersen Center at University of Southern Denmark, told local news wire Ritzau.