The statue of The Little Mermaid (“Den lille havfrue” in Danish) sits on a rock in the Copenhagen harbour at Langelinie. This small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and a major tourist attraction.
The statue was 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. The statue’s head was modelled after Price, but as the ballerina did not agree to model in the nude, the sculptor’s wife Eline Eriksen was used for the body.
The relatively small size of the statue typically surprises tourists visiting for the first time. The Little Mermaid statue is only 1.25 metres high and weighs around 175 kg.
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