Travelling Little Mermaid to resurface in Copenhagen by video

Friday 30 April 2010 12:45

Denmark's beloved Little Mermaid, who left her perch last month for Shanghai's World Expo, will resurface Saturday at her usual spot in the Copenhagen harbour through a video installation.

The work by Ai Weiwei, one of China's most famous artists and an outspoken social critic, will be unveiled at 3:30 am (0130 GMT) on Saturday, at the same time the World Expo opens in Shanghai.

It will allow tourists who continue to flock to the sculpture's spot in the harbour to look at the sculpture from her new home, the Danish pavilion at Expo 2010, on a giant video screen.

The Little Mermaid is considered a national treasure in Denmark and the decision to send her to Shanghai for the six-month World Expo, was contentious.

The 175-kilogram (385-pound) statue by Edvard Eriksen was inspired by a character created by Hans Christian Andersen in an 1837 fairytale.

She has been a one of Denmark's main tourist attractions since 1913.

The decision to let the statue go was the subject of heated debate in Denmark, especially in Copenhagen, where a majority of residents were opposed to the idea up until the end of last year, according to polls.

But the city of Copenhagen, which owns the sculpture, nonetheless decided to send her to the Shanghai World Expo to represent Denmark.

The move has made the Danish pavilion one of the Expo's most talked-about attractions in China, where every schoolchild reads Andersen's stories.

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