Wordtravels

Wordtravels

The Little Mermaid Statue

The Little Mermaid, basking on a rock at the Langelinie Harbour, is one of Copenhagen's biggest tourist attractions. The sculpture was put up in 1913, and over a million people visit the mermaid every year. At only about 4 feet (1.25m) high, she is very small, with naked breasts and a fish tail; she seems to be in her true element when the waves crash against her rock. The sculptor, Edvard Eriksen, modelled the mermaid's head after ballerina Ellen Price. When the ballerina wouldn't model in the nude for the body, the sculptor's wife posed for him. There are some similarities between the Little Mermaid and the 'Pania of the Reef' statue on the Napier beachfront in New Zealand, and with Vancouver's 'Girl in a Wetsuit' sculpture. The statue is beautifully executed and fits so well into its natural surroundings that it takes a moment to notice her sitting on her rock (provided she is not surrounded by tourists). Although there is not much to do except see her and take a picture this alluring statue continues to charm visitors and replicas of the famous sculpture are popular souvenirs. Of course, Anderson's story of The Little Mermaid is beloved the world over which goes some way to explaining the popularity of this wistful art work.

Address: Langelinie Harbour