August 9, 2020

The Little Mermaid of Copenhagen is painted with the legend “racist fish”



The statue of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, the most recognizable tourist symbol of the Danish capital, has appeared on Friday painted with the legend “racist fish”, authorities reported.

The police have opened a vandalism investigation into the attack on the famous sculpture located next to the port of Langelinie, visited annually by more than a million tourists and which in its 107 years of existence has been used many times as an object for political demands.

The “Black Lives Matter” movement, launched in the United States after the death of a black citizen at the hands of a white police officer, has led to the destruction of symbols considered racist such as statues of Confederate personalities or historical figures who defended slavery and had slaves .

Such acts have been imitated in cities around the world, including in Copenhagen, where, for example, the statue of missionary Hans Egede, considered the father of the Danish colonization of Greenland, was painted red a few days ago.

The choice of the Little Mermaid in this case seems to be due more to its status as a national symbol than to the character in Hans Christian Andersen’s story from which it is inspired, apparently without any racist content.

It is also not known that Andersen or the beer magnate Carl Jacobsen, who donated the statue to the city in his day, have any connection with slavery or have stood out for being racist.

The Little Mermaid has had a random existence: she has been decapitated three times, her arm has been torn off and she was even blown up with explosives from her granite pedestal, in addition to appearing painted in various colors or dressed in soccer jerseys, veils or a Ku Klux Klan.

From being the main target of feminist anger in previous decades, it came to be used for all kinds of political demands, from those of squatter movements to those of xenophobic groups.

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