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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 March 2006, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Denmark may move Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen
The Little Mermaid: Inspired by a Danish fairy tale
Denmark is considering moving one of its most famous landmarks - the Little Mermaid sculpture - to protect it from both tourists and vandals.

Officials in Copenhagen want to move the 1.6 metre (5.5 ft) statue several metres offshore.

The 92-year-old bronze sculpture draws more than a million visitors a year and has been repeatedly vandalised.

She has been beheaded twice, lost an arm and been daubed with paint at least seven times.

More secure

Jens Peter Munk, Copenhagen's keeper of public monuments, said the statue, accessible via a short stone walkway, could be moved several metres into the harbour.

"We are considering moving the statue a couple of metres into the water, which would make it more difficult for people to reach," he told the BBC News website.

"It would help secure her in a better way without ruining the whole concept of having her sitting on a rock in the water. It's a natural way to protect her."

Mr Munk said no decision had yet been taken and that city officials were looking into the implications of such a move.

We are considering moving the statue a couple of metres into the water
Jens Peter Munk, Copenhagen Municipality

"We are doing a preliminary inquiry to see what would be required from both an aesthetic and an economic point of view. We should have a clearer picture by this spring or summer," he said.

Earlier this month, vandals splattered the sculpture with green paint and placed a sex toy in her hand on International Women's Day.

One of Europe's most famous landmarks, The Little Mermaid is based on a fairytale character created in 1837 by Hans Christian Andersen.

The statue, which weighs 175kg (27 stone), was created by sculptor Edward Eriksen and presented to the city of Copenhagen in 1913.

Little Mermaid's head found
09 Jan 98 |  In Depth

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