The attacks started years ago, crimes of unspeakable cruelty. In 1998, they cut off the 85-year-old handicapped woman's head. It wasn't the first time, either. Friends resurrected her, and helped her back onto her favorite rock. On September 11, 2003, there was another attempt on her life. This time, the cowards used dynamite to blow her away. She was found floating off Langelinie Quay, face down. Still she survived. She's been beheaded twice, had her right arm sawn off, and suffered innumerable dousings with paint, yet she poses patiently daily for hundreds of tourists.
The victim: Copenhagen's famed Little Mermaid. Sculptor Edvard Eriksen modeled the topless, girl-sized bronze after his wife Eline, and ballerina Ellen Price, in 1909. As far as we know, Eline and Ellen did not have fins. After four years - perhaps the girls wouldn't sit still - the statue was placed on a rock in Copenhagen's harbor. It was a bust bought with beer money. Ballerina booster Carl Jacobsen, founder of Copenhagen's Carlsberg brewery, who was rather taken with Ellen, wrote the check.
In Hans Christian Andersen's 1836 tale, the Little Mermaid saves the life of a shipwrecked prince and makes a deal to become human so they can wed. This sets her back her voice and tail, and she will endure pain with every step, forever. Plus, there will be disadvantages.
So far, your average marriage. You ain't seen nothin' yet. If the fickle prince weds another (he does, the lout) the finny female becomes foam, and disappears forever. Frankly, you don't need "Dear Abby" to sense a dysfunctional relationship coming on here. Imagine her letter: "Abby, I'm a cetacean--that's a big headed fish--and I fell for this sailor. Now I'm invisible. Any ideas? Sign me, All wet in DK."
Over a million tourists a year trek here to see the naked maid. Maybe they're sorry for a girl who had the misfortune to live before there were helpful newspaper columnists to sort out her fishy love life. Perhaps they're just finny voyeurs. I rather doubt it--there are more sex shops in Copenhagen than grocery stores. In any case, only Disney has made more kroner on this frail siren than the Danes.
"She's so - little!" is always the reaction when pilgrims arrive at the waterside viewing area, a shady, tree lined concourse called Langelinie Quay, quite peaceful in between busloads of Japanese tourists. The statue is about the size you'd expect your average weight watching mermaid to be in real life. In 1961 a chaste admirer dressed the little sea princess in bra and panties, then painted her hair red. (Usually she wears an algae bra.) In 1963 she was painted all red. In 1964 she was decapitated for the first time. Two drunks sawed off her right arm in 1984, then turned themselves, and the arm, in to police the following day. In 1990 a lazy decapitator gave up halfway through. 1998's headhunter was successful. The explosives were a novel twist. The donkeys at "Jack--s" did the sort of things you would expect.
In Hans Christian Andersen's tale, the Little Mermaid's granny tells her "Pride must suffer pain." I don't think this was quite what Grandmother had in mind.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.