Little Mermaid in Denmark vandalised with colours of Russian flag

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, one of Denmark’s most notable landmarks, has been vandalised with a Russian flag painted across its base.

The colours of Russia’s flag were daubed overnight on Thursday on the rock on which the statue of the heroine from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale rests.

Copenhagen police said they had attended the scene and recorded “a case of vandalism”, adding, “investigations have been carried out in the area in order to find traces”.

An investigation has been opened into the act seen as a sign of support for Moscow in the war in Ukraine.

A few puzzled tourists photographed the vandalised statue on Thursday morning.

The Little Mermaid – inspired by a character in the Danish author Andersen’s 1837 fairytale of the same name – is a 175kg (385lb) statue by the sculptor Edvard Eriksen.

People gather for photos next to the Little Mermaid sculpture vandalised with colours of the Russian flag in Langelinie in Copenhagen, Denmark.
People gather for photos next to the Little Mermaid sculpture vandalised with colours of the Russian flag in Langelinie, Copenhagen, Denmark. Photograph: Ritzau Scanpix/Reuters

The statue, which sits in the relatively secluded harbour of Langelinie in Copenhagen, has been vandalised numerous times. The mermaid’s head was stolen in 1964, and her arm cut off in 1984. In 1998, vandals removed her head again, but it was later returned, before the statue was blown up in 2003.

The statue has been tagged and painted many times, most recently in 2020 with the mysterious inscription “racist fish”.

The Guardian