Tuesday, August 11, 2020
    Entertainment Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid statue vandalised with 'racist...

    Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid statue vandalised with ‘racist fish’ graffiti | World News


    The Copenhagen statue of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid has been vandalised, with the phrase “racist fish” scrawled on its stone base in the Danish capital’s harbour.

    No one has come forward to claim responsibility for defacing the famous landmark, which has been regularly targeted over the years.

    “We consider it vandalism and have started an investigation,” a Copenhagen police spokesman said.

    Hans Christian Andersen in around 1870
    Hans Christian Andersen in around 1870

    Ane Grum-Schwensen, researcher at the Hans Christian Andersen Centre at the University of Southern Denmark, said she was “having a hard time seeing what is particularly racist” about the fairytale the figure is taken from.

    According to the famous writer’s story, The Little Mermaid was a sea king’s daughter who falls in love with a prince and longs to become human.

    The five-and-a-half foot (1.65m) bronze artwork, erected 107 years ago, is both one of Copenhagen’s most popular attractions and a regular target for vandals.

    Despite being visited by one million tourists each year, it has been painted, knocked off its perch and beheaded twice, with anti-whaling campaigners and pro-democracy activists among those who have defaced it in the past.

    It was created in tribute to Andersen, who was born in 1805 and wrote 156 fairytales – some of which since have been adapted for the stage and screen.

    Disney is working on a live action remake of its 1989 animated film based on The Little Mermaid for 2021, which is to star R&B singer and actress Halle Bailey as the titular character.

    Disney 1989 Little Mermaid/ Halle Bailey
    Halle Bailey will play Ariel in a remake of Disney’s 1989 film

    Last month, another statue in Copenhagen of a Danish missionary who played a key role in the colonisation of Greenland was doused with red paint and the word “decolonise”.

    It is not known whether that incident and the latest defacing of The Little Mermaid are linked.

    The appropriateness of statues around the world is being reconsidered following Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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