The message, ostensibly a reference to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, was painted onto the popular tourist attraction on Sunday night or early on Monday.
Police have cordoned off the area around the statue, one of the city’s busiest tourist spots, early on Monday as they look for clues, media including Politiken report.
“We’re doing our best to find clues. We are using dogs to see whether we can find any articles that have been used to commit this vandalism,” Copenhagen Police duty officer Jesper Frandsen told Ekstra Bladet.
The Little Mermaid is located on the Langelinie promenade on the northern side of Copenhagen Harbour.
The statue, made by sculptor Edvard Eriksen in 1913, depicts the character from Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale.
It has been the target of vandalism on repeated occasions over the years. In May 2017, animal rights activists outraged over whaling sprayed red paint on the statue and painted the words “Danmark [sic.], defend the whales of the Faroe Islands” on the pavement in front of it. The following month, it was given a splash of blue and white in what appeared an unrelated protest.
The mermaid's head was stolen in 1964 and 1998 and her arm was cut off in 1984.
In 2003, it was stolen from its plinth at the Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen before being recovered and restored.
It has also been dressed in a burka as well as Swedish and Norwegian football jerseys.
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