Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Copenhagen's Little Mermaid Out on Loan


Came across an online story the other day – Denmark's most iconic tourist attraction, the harbourside sculpture of The Little Mermaid sitting on a rock, will disappear for eight month on loan to Expo China in 2010. Sculpted by Edvard Eriksen and unveiled in 1913, it is said the model for the statue's face was prima ballerina Ellen Price and the model for the nude body was Eriksen's wife Eline. The sculpture has a tragic history of being beheaded, defaced, and mutilated by loonies on many occasions. Each time we've heard about another act of vandalism we've shuddered – she's not a political figure, she's a symbol of innocence and sacrifice from a beautiful Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. You can read all about her on Wikipedia, where we were happy to find out that the original has been kept out of circulation in some secret repository. Still ... we know the one in the harbour has been restored several times but it's quite sickening to know there are individuals and factions out there targeting her and undoubtedly planning their next attack.

Speaking of Hans Christian Andersen, we don't know whether you're aware of a movie about him starring the wonderful Danny Kaye, which I (Julie) used to watch as a kid and now own on DVD. It featured a wonderful ballet sequence at the end with ballerina Zizi Jeanmaire in The Little Mermaid role. I've tried to find an intact clip for you but was unsuccessful – the opening mermaid sequence has been cut. However, the dancing is still wonderful and I like the fact that the heroine in this case is a brunette while the interloper is a blonde. Here are a couple of other clips from the movie (non mermaid related) but which showcase Danny Kaye's warmth and talent. 








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