The (poor) Little Mermaid – Denmark’s treasure!

Last time I introduced you to Christiania, this time I am going to introduce you to The Little Mermaid – Denmark’s national treasure. After all, it is summer and she is one of Denmark’s biggest and most famous tourist attractions.

The Little Mermaid is a character in one of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales, and gradually she has become famous all over the world. Some quick facts about the mermaid: She is located in the Copenhagen harbor at Langelinie, where she has been sitting on a rock since August 23, 1913. In two days, she has been sitting there for 99 years – but, she still looks good in spite of her age. We all know it is hard getting old.

The mermaid was a gift to Copenhagen and it was created by a Danish sculptor, called Edvard Eriksen. The statue is very small, which has also caused many tourists to express their disappointment by saying “that’s it?”. Tourists and people in general tend to picture the mermaid as this huge statue.

What many people outside of Denmark might not know about The Little Mermaid is that she has been exposed to vandalism several times during the years. The first time was in 1964, where she lost her head. Perpetrators sawed of her head in the middle of the night, and still to this day nobody knows who they are or where the head is. The second time she was exposed to vandalism was in 1984, where somebody sawed off her arm. But, this time the perpetrators got a guilty conscience fairly quick, as they turned themselves in after only two days.

In 1998, she had her head stolen again. Once again, perpetrators sawed her head off. But, this time a photographer found it after a few days after being tipped off by the perpetrators. In 2003, somebody succeeded in knocking her over by means of explosive material, and then in 2007, somebody spray-painted her with red paint. Since then, The Little Mermaid has been left alone and been able to enjoy the view of the Copenhagen harbor without any disturbances – except for the starring glances of course.

Do you have any tourist attractions in your country that everyone knows, or should know?

[Dansk]

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