The Little Mermaid

Most photographed Dane turns 100

She is one of Copenhagen's most famous attractions; she has lost her head on numerous occasions; and she is the main character in one of Hans Christian Andersen's most famous fairy tale. Since 1913, the statue of the Little Mermaid has been visited by millions of tourists from around the world, and in 2013 the world's most popular mermaid celebrates her 100th birthday.
Monday, December 10, 2012

The much loved fairy tale about the little mermaid who falls in love with a human prince and is willing to give up her life in the sea was written by the famous Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen, and first published in 1837. When the Danish brewer, Carl Jacobsen, attended a performance of ballet master Hans Beck’s “The Little Mermaid” in 1909, he was so thrilled with the performance, particularly by leading prima donna Ellen Price, that he ordered a statue to be raised in honour of the story. As a result, in 1913 the Little Mermaid was unveiled to the City of Copenhagen on 23 August 1913 by Carl Jacobsen.

In 2013 it will be 100 years since the Little Mermaid was placed on her rock on Copenhagen's harbour-front at Langelinie. Life hasn't always been easy for this petite centenarian: she has been daubed with paint on several occasions; in 1984 her right arm was cut off; and she has been decapitated twice, once in 1964 and once in 1998.

In 2010 she travelled abroad to represent Denmark at the World EXPO 2010 in Shanghai as part of an exhibition entitled ‘Welfairytales’- which looked at how lifestyle, consumption and growth can go hand in hand with sustainability and social responsibility.

See more pictures of the mermaid and her trip to Shanghai here.

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