Copenhagen's Little Mermaid statue vandalised over whaling

Denmark's most famous landmark The Little Mermaid has been doused in red paint by anti-whaling activists. "Danmark defend the whales of the Faroe Islands" was written in English on the ground in front of the sculpture. VIDEO: REUTERS
A before and after comparison of Copenhagen's famous "little mermaid" statue, which Danish police said on May 30 was vandalised with red paint by animal activists.
A before and after comparison of Copenhagen's famous "little mermaid" statue, which Danish police said on May 30 was vandalised with red paint by animal activists.PHOTO: FLICKR/BRANDO.N, SCREENSHOT FROM DR.DK

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - The "little mermaid" statue in Copenhagen, the city's most famous monument, was vandalised on Tuesday (May 30) by animal rights activists outraged over whaling, police said.

The culprits sprayed red paint on the statue, which sits on a rock by the waterside in the Danish capital, and left a message for the authorities.

"Danmark (sic), defend the whales of the Faroe Islands" was spray painted on the pavement in front of the monument.

Copenhagen police confirmed the incident on Twitter, writing, "The Little Mermaid was targeted by vandalism. We are on the case."

The Faroe Islands, a Danish autonomous archipelago in the North Atlantic, has a tradition of trapping mainly pilot whales in a bay or a fjord and killing them with long knives, an act called the "grindadrap".

The bronze mermaid statue represents a character from a classic tale by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.

It has been vandalised several times over a century as the mermaid's head was stolen in 1964 and 1998 and arm was cut off in 1984.

She has been sprayed with paint before and thrown into the sea several times. In 2004, her head was covered with a burqa in protest against Turkey's application to become a member of the European Union.