A major tourist attraction, the statue of The Little Mermaid (Den lille havfrue in Danish) sits on a rock in the Copenhagen harbour. Tourists visiting for the first time the heroin of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale are surprised by the relatively small size of the statue. The Little Mermaid is nevertheless a Copenhagen icon, commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg, who had been fascinated by a ballet about the fairytale in Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre and asked the primaballerina, Ellen Price, to model for the statue. The sculptor Edvard Eriksen created the statue, which was unveiled on 23 August 1913. As the ballerina did not agree to model in the nude, the sculptor’s wife Eline Eriksen was used for the body.
The statue will move to Shanghai for the duration of the Expo 2010 (from May to October).