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Tuesday, January 6, 1998 Published at 13:49 GMT



World: Europe

Search continues for 'Little Mermaid' head
image: [ The Little Mermaid has been subjected to a number of attacks ]
The Little Mermaid has been subjected to a number of attacks

The Little Mermaid of Copenhagen in Denmark has been decapitated.

The sculpture, which is perched on a rock in Copenhagen harbour, is taken from a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale and is one of Denmark's major tourist sites.

"It's disgusting. It's a stupid prank, real stupid," said tourist Henrik Bruhn.

"We came out to see her not knowing what had happened. We're stunned. She is like Copenhagen's Eiffel Tower," said Federica Vianello of Venice, Italy.


[ image: The search for the missing head has begun]
The search for the missing head has begun
A passerby noticed the mermaid had been vandalised in the early hours of Tuesday morning and alerted police.

They are looking for a group of people who were seen on roller-skates leaving the area laughing at the time of the incident.

Scuba divers are being sent out to look for the head in the harbour.


BBC Correspondent Julian Isherwood: act of vandalism (Dur 1' 44")
Carl Jacobsen, the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries, commissioned Edvard Eriksen to create the mermaid and it was put in place in 1913.

It is the second time she has had her head chopped off. Her arm was also removed in a separate incident.

In 1964 she was beheaded and despite a police investigation, the attackers were never found although several Danes claimed they were responsible for the act.

The original head was never found, so a copy was made.

Copenhagen City Chief Architect, Otto Kaeszner, said it would be "very expensive" to replace the head but refused to give further details.








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