I am sure everyone is familiar with the famous Hans Christian Andersen fable about the little mermaid, that fell in love with a prince and chose to become human, with grave consequences. It has been made into many animated movies and is known by kids and adults all over the world.
H.C Andersen was a Danish poet and author, who had a wonderful gift in writing stories and fairytales, that were entertaining, but always with a little twist. He managed to expose the weakness and problems in mankind and in societies, which can be adequately transferred to any era in human history. Many of his fairytales are world renowned and cited and many additional stories have been spun on the same themes, such as "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "The Ugly Duckling".
Andersen is beloved by the Danes and a statue of the little mermaid is one of the main tourist attractions in Copenhagen. The statue was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg and created by the sculptor Edvard Eriksen. It was unveiled on 23 August 1913 and has ever since been sitting atop a big rock at the harbour, gazing with longing across the ocean.
I have seen the little mermaid only once almost thirty years ago. Strange but true; every time I make plans to go and see it again, they somehow fall through.
I was a child at that time and to me it appeared just like any statue, but many tourists claim to be surprised about how small it is in reality.
The statue of the mermaid has endured decades of vandalism, I am sorry to say. It has lost arms on numerous occasions, it has lost its head, have been painted pink and even been blown of its rock, most likely using dynamite. Interestingly, this defacement started first in the sixties and have only intensified in time.
The statue has been making headlines recently, as it will soon embark on a long travel following a somewhat controversial decision by the Copenhagen City Council, to move the statue to Shanghai for the duration of the Expo 2010.
I decided to post two different youtube clips of the attraction; the first one seem to be more professional, taken by the economic expert Jim Rogers and his wife, one one of their travels.
The other clip was simply so funny, I had to post it as well. It is taken, as far as I understand by two Erasmus exchange students. Judging by the language, they are Italian and judging from the clip, they are laughing with great irony at the terrible late March weather with sleet, cold wind and about 3C (around 37F). Surely, this is a very strange climate to anyone who is at home around the Mediterranean, where March is summer-like, to say the least. I do not speak Italian - I can catch a word or two about the weather - but to those who do; in a case some profane language is used, I deeply appologize.;)
Still, I love the sincere, unpretentious humour in the short clip, hope you will too.