A statue of the Little Mermaid sits on a rock in the Copenhagen harbour in Churchill Park. This small and unimposing statue is a symbol of Copenhagen, and a major tourist attraction.
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. He used his wife Eline Eriksen as the model.
This statue has been vandalised several times, but has each time been restored. On 24 April 1964, the statue's head was sawn off and stolen by politically oriented artists of the Situationist movement, amongst them Jørgen Nash. The head was never recovered and a new head was produced and placed on the statue. On 22 July 1984, her right arm was sawn off. The arm was returned 2 days later by two embarrassed young vandals. In 1990 another attempt was made to cut her head off, which resulted in an 18 cm deep cut in the neck. On 6 January 1998, she lost her head for the second time, the culprits were never found, but the head was returned anonymously to a nearby TV station, and on 4 February the head was back on.