THE LITTLE MERMAID
ABOUT THE STATUE
- The Little Mermaid (Danish: Den lille havfrue) is a statue depicting a mermaid, in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark.
- Based on the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and has been a major tourist attraction since 1913.
- It has become a popular target for defacement by vandals and political activists.
- The statue sits on a rock in the harbour off Langelinie promenade. It has a height of 1.25 metres (4.1 ft) and weighs 175 kilograms (385 lb)
- “The Little Mermaid” is a very well known fairy tale by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince.
- The statue was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg, who had been fascinated by a ballet about the fairytale in Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre and asked theprima ballerina, Ellen Price, to model for the statue.
- The sculptor Edvard Eriksen created the bronze statue, which was unveiled on 23 August 1913. The statue’s head was modelled after Price, but as the ballerina did not agree to model in the nude, the sculptor’s wife, Eline Eriksen, was used for the body.
- The Copenhagen City Council decided to move the statue to Shanghai at the Danish Pavilion for the duration of the Expo 2010 (from May to October), the first time it had been moved from its perch since it was installed almost a century earlier.
The statue displayed in Copenhagen harbour has always been a copy; the sculptor’s heirs keep the original at an undisclosed location. Undamaged copies of the statue are located in :
- Solvang, California
- Kimballton, Iowa
- Piatra Neamţ, Romania
- And a half-sized copy in Calgary, Canada
- The grave of Danish-American entertainer Victor Borge, includes a copy as well
- A copy of the statue forms the Danish contribution to the International Peace Gardens in Salt Lake City. The half-size replica was stolen on 26 February 2010, but was recovered on 7 April, evidently abandoned in the park after the thief became nervous about being caught with it.
Idea Credits: Ram Chhabra