Friday, August 23, 2013

Happy 100th Birthday Little Mermaid Statue (A Pictorial Tribute)

In August 23, 1913, a new fairy tale icon was unveiled on the shores of Copenhagen, Denmark and, one hundred years later, she remains as beautiful, alluring and enchanting as ever.
The statue was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg, after he had been fascinated by a ballet about the fairytale. The sculptor Edward Eriksen created the statue, which was unveiled on 23 August 1913. His wife, Eline Eriksen, was the model. (Source)
She's left her mark on history and made a few strong statements here and there but will always best be known for her wistful beauty.

Before we look at her (occasionally scandalous) highlights, here are a selection of lovely photos:

She's been used in art and film (including having Disney's Little Mermaid take her pose on screen)...
... had installations exhibited near and next to her...

... been the focus of some controversial political and social statements and protests...

... survived being vandalized via paint (red, green and pink), having a "marital device" attached to her hand, being blown off her rock by explosives (!)...

... and losing her head...
... was (legitimately) turned pink for International Day of the Girl (October 11)...
... was finally given a male counterpart...
... and has even briefly traveled the world.
The Little Mermaid preps for her trip to Shanghai for the World Expo in March 2010
Excerpt from archived article at TheSqueeze: 
On March 25th (2010), The Little mermaid began her journey to Shanghai, to be part of the World Expo 2010. She will represent the cultural exchange between Denmark and China. 
...The Little Mermaid is leaving her homeland for the first time, since she was unveiled in the Copenhagen Harbor in 1913. There has been a big controversy over the decision to move the statue, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale, which is the city’s most popular landmark. The idea of sending a replica was dismissed by the Danish commissioner-general, Christopher Bo Bramsen, for Expo 2010.  
While she will be away, a video installation by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei will be installed at her spot, until she returns in November.
Here's a video (very beautifully filmed!) of the Little Mermaid being kidnapped, er, relocated for the Expo:

While she was away the Little Mermaid was replaced briefly by this:

Then by this:

If you are well familiar with HCA's Little Mermaid you know it's very poetic that she did, indeed, get to see the world. Despite the controversy, it seems a fitting tribute in more ways than one.

She's been back for a while now and continues to preside over the harbor, posing for thousands of photos per year, reminding everyone of her story*.

Denmark is having a slew of 100th celebrations events in the latter half of this year (and some beyond), some of which are detailed HERE.

Happy Birthday Little Mermaid!
*The Little Mermaid was written by Hans Christian Andersen and first published in 1837. It is said to be Andersen's most personal work.


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  2. Thank you for remembering her birthday, how nice of you.