When you think of overrated statues of the world a couple of the favorites for this tittle will probably be the Manneken Pis in Brussels and the little mermaid statue in Copenhagen.
The little mermaid is as the name say – quite tiny it is actually a life sized statue and remember it is from 1913 and back then people were a lot smaller so life sized is really small. Despite the fact the statue is tiny it is still one of the most famous attractions of Copenhagen and it seems like all tourist go to see it – particularly the Chinese tourist which have a special fondness for the statue. So usually you will see a ton of people standing in front of the statue at any given days taking photos – but not today. The only one taking photos of the statue is actually me – all the tourist has disappeared in the recent weeks so suddenly you can go around Copenhagen and enjoy it in peace.
The statue is located on a little rock just of the coast at Langeline which is the northern part of Copenhagen just outside the old town. You can easily walk out to the statue from the center if you like or you can jump on one of the canal tour boats for an hour sail around Copenhagen canal which will also take you out here so you can see the statue from the sea. If you are on a canal tour you can get out of the boat and take a closer look at the statue and go back on the next boat.
The statue is famous as a figure from one of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales about the little mermaid. And the statue was commission by Carl Jacobsen after he had seen a ballet of the story at the Danish Royal Theater; Carl was the son of I.C. Jacobsen the founder of Carlsberg brewery.
The statue is famous for being possibly the most vandalized statue in the world. It lost the head in 1964 and this head has never been recovered so instead the statue got a new head so the tourist wouldn’t be watching a scary headless mermaid. In 1984 the right arm was served off the statue but it was returned a couple of days later and reattached. A second attempt to cut the head of the statue was done in 1990 but for some reason the culprits only manage to cut half way through the neck so the mermaid saved her head this time around. She wasn’t as lucky on January 6 1998 when she lost her head for a second time – this time around the head was recovered at a nearby television station and the head was reattached on 4 of February the same year in good time for the main tourist season.
In addition to the many cuts of parts of the statue she has been drenched in paint on several occasions several for political reasons. And she has had a dildo attached to her head. The last vandalism on the statue was done this year on January 13 when somebody had painted the “Free Hong Kong” in support of the protesters in Hong Kong.
A lot of tourist comes every year to visit the statue – but she is a bit of a world traveler herself. Back in 2010 she took a little trip for half a year to feature at the Danish pavilion at the world expo in Shanghai.