Denmark's famous Little Mermaid statue vandalised with Russian flag

Denmark’s famous Little Mermaid statue is vandalised with Russian flag painted over it

  • The bronze statue has sat in the Copenhagen harbour for the last 110 years
  • Landmarks worldwide have been targeted by pro-Russian vandals since 2022 

A famed statue of Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid, one of Copenhagen’s biggest tourist draws, has been vandalised with the colours of the Russian flag.

Reports the 5.4ft statue had been targeted by pro-Russian vandals broke this morning.

It is not known exactly when the vandalism took place and nobody has yet taken responsibility for the act.

The 110-year-old statue sits at the entrance of the Copenhagen harbour. 

Police told AFP: ‘Investigations have been carried out in the area in order to find traces.’ 

The Russian flag is painted on the stone where the Little Mermaid sits, in Copenhagen, 2 March

Visitors arrive to have a look at the sculpture, the emblem of Copenhagen and Denmark

A woman stops to take a photo of the famous bronze statue on top of the vandalised rock

The statue was created in tribute to the Danish storyteller Andersen. 

It has long been a popular target for vandals, who have previously blown the mermaid off her perch, beheaded her and painted her.

The statue is based on a mythical sea king’s mermaid daughter who, according to the Hans Christian Andersen tale, falls in love with a prince and longs to become human.

The statue has been vandalised numerous times over the years – including when the mermaid’s head was stolen in 1964 and 1998, as well as when an arm was cut off in 1984.

In 1998, vandals cut off its head again, but it was later returned, before the statue was blown up in 2003.

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

The statue has nevertheless stayed in place since 1913, except briefly in 2010 when temporarily moved to Shanghai to play a role in the Danish Pavilion at Expo 2012. 

A number of popular landmarks world over have been defaced by vandals with pro-Russian graffiti since the invasion of Ukraine last year.

In March 2022, vandals marked veteran headstones in North Yorkshire with the pro-war ‘Z’ symbols seen on Putin’s tanks.

Graves were also daubed with ‘IRA’ and swastika symbols. 

A month later, one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic roads, featured in Game of Thrones, was also vandalised with the ‘Z’.

The same month, a Chanel boutique in Moscow was defaced with Hitler-themed vandalism after the brand closed its stores in Russia. 

People gather for photos next to the Little Mermaid that was vandalised in Russian colours

View shows the harbour-facing part of the rock has been smeared with red, white and blue

Side view shows the mermaid upon the vandalised rock, a main tourist attraction for 110 years

Supporters of Ukraine have also used graphics to send political messages through the course of the war.

A day after the invasion of Ukraine, protests erupted across even Russia, with sympathetic insiders scrawling ‘Adolf Putin’ on a wall in the President’s hometown of St Petersburg.

Protestors published mustachioed prints of the 2007 Time cover which named Putin as the magazine’s person of the year.

In 2008, Russia invaded Georgia.

Hitler was famously named Time’s Man of the Year in 1938, a year before invading Poland. 

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