Something fishy in the state of Denmark
Posted by Exile on March 31, 2006
We all know the H.C. Andersen story of the little mermaid. The story is popular all over the world and even Disney has gotten in on the act. She is the national symbol of Denmark and is to be found, in sculptural form, on Langelinie quay in Copenhagen where she sits on a rock looking out over the Baltic sea.
She was sculpted by Edvard Eriksen in 1913 and was given to the city by the brewer Carl Jacobsen (of Carlsberg fame). She is cast in bronze and the dancer Ellen Price was the model for the figure. Whether Ellen actually had feet like fishtails or not, is irrelevant.
This delightful little figure attracts one million tourists a year and there aren’t many days where one won’t see someone crawling up onto her rock for the obligatory souvenir picture. The city fathers are going to change that. They are planning on moving the little mermaid out into deeper water. It’s not that they want to discourage tourists to come and see her. They want to ward off the vandals. Would-be mermaid rapists, if you like.
The last act of vandalism was carried out on international womens day where the poor defenceless thing was painted with slogans and had a vibrator placed in her hand. In her time on the rock, she has been beheaded three times, has had her arm cut off, and has had innumerable stones thrown at her. Not bad for a national symbol.
Horrific acts of violence? Disgusting behaviour? Mindless vandalism? I don’t know.
Beheading, amputation and stoning.
In some countries, it’s known as the law.