Denmark’s Little Mermaid vandalised with Russian flag

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen was vandalised on Thursday after the colours of the Russian flag were painted onto its base.

Denmark’s Little Mermaid vandalised with Russian flag
A passer-by takes a photo of The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen after the statue's latest brush with vandals. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

Images of the tourist attraction show the red, blue and white stripes which form the Russian flag painted onto the rock on which the Mermaid sits.

Police said on Thursday morning that they had sent a patrol out to the statue.

“We will naturally initiate an investigation to find out who did this and how and when it happened,” duty officer Martin Kajberg of Copenhagen Police said.

The famous statue has been vandalised several times during its 110-year history, often with political motives but sometimes for other reasons.

The last few years alone have seen it painted blue, painted red, and tagged with a message of support for Hong Kong democracy activists.

Going further back, 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 before being recovered and restored.

It has also been dressed in a burka as well as Swedish and Norwegian football jerseys.

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.

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Denmark to add war crimes to criminal code

Denmark is to give international war crimes a specific paragraph in its criminal code, ending its position as one of the last European countries not to have specific laws on war crimes.

Denmark to add war crimes to criminal code

The government confirmed on Tuesday that it supports a motion by the opposition Socialist People’s Party (SF) to introduce a war crimes paragraph.

“I think it’s important to say first and foremost that war crimes are already illegal in Danish criminal law,” Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard told news wire Ritzau.

“It is not written in as specific clauses in the criminal law, but all offences that are war crimes are criminal,” he said.

“But with all that said, I think that SF has an important point in saying that the time has now come for us to introduce an independent criminalisation of war crimes. I think that would send out an important message to the world, and especially to victims,” he said.

“I will therefore, when the motion is discussed tomorrow [Tuesday, ed.] say, that the government backs criminalising war crimes independently under Danish law,” he said.

Hummelgaard plans to initiate a committee to look into how laws against war crimes can be written and added to the criminal code.

The committee will also consider whether sentences for war crimes should be higher than existing sentences given from crimes such as murder and torture.