Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The three faces of the Little Mermaid

Small on size, but big on visitor numbers, The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is surprisingly... well... little.

She sits quietly on a rock in the city's harbour, wistfully looking out to sea.

The original Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen harbour 

Chances are most people who visit the Danish capital have taken the pretty stroll along the harbour to visit her.

Based on the 1837 fairy tale by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and immortalised in the Disney animated film, she represents the young mermaid willing to give up her identify to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince.
Hans Christian Andersen

Created by sculptor Edward Eriksen and unveiled in 1913, this small statue has seen more than its fair share of real-life drama having been vandalised several times over the decades.

But there are two other faces to the Little Mermaid some Copenhagen visitors may not see.  It turns out this Little Mermaid (let's call her "Demure"), who adorns the city's postcards, is just one member of a set of triplets.

Nearby, just where the cruise ships pull in, is another more "enhanced" version of the Little Mermaid.   Let's call her "Busty".

Another version of The Little Mermaid that's not so little

As perky as a Miss America contestant and not shy about putting her best assets forward, this Little Mermaid is bigger in almost every facet compared to her sibling and no doubt quite the crowd pleaser.   
Not too far away, but attracting far few visitors, is the final member of the sisterhood and the strangest of creations.  Let's call her "Special".

Called The Genetically Modified Little Mermaid, this "post-modern" effort believes the Little Mermaid would have looked more like this when she decided to use sorcery to tamper with her genetic form to become a human.

Made by Danish artist Bjorn Norgaard, The Genetically Modified Little Mermaid looks a little sad and unloved.

Out of the three sisters - Demure, Busty and Special -  it's probably no surprise why Disney decided to base the character of Ariel on the more child-friendly version for its film.

Genetically Modified Little Mermaid 

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