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Friday, January 9, 1998 Published at 11:58 GMT


Little Mermaid's head found
image: [ The Little Mermaid is Denmark's best known landmark ]
The Little Mermaid is Denmark's best known landmark

The head of Copenhagen's famous Little Mermaid has turned up, three days after being sawn off by radical feminists.

The bronze head was delivered to a Danish television station on Friday by a hooded man.

A freelance cameraman who got a tip-off about the statue's decapitation before dawn on Tuesday was also informed of the return and was on the scene to film the mysterious man dropping it off at TV2 in Copenhagen.

No arrests have been made but police say they are examining the head for fingerprints and forensic evidence.

The statue, which is based on a Hans Christian Andersen tale, draws about a million visitors a year to the harbourside park in Copenhagen where it normally sits looking out to sea.

[ image: The head was hacked off in the middle of the night]
The head was hacked off in the middle of the night
Danes consider it as much a national symbol as the Eiffel Tower is to the French or Big Ben to the British.

When told of the head's return, Copenhagen's chief architect Otto Kaeszner said: "That's great . We'll save lots of money."

He said a new head would have cost about 80,000 kroner ($14,000).

The Little Mermaid, erected in 1913, had its head sawn off once before in 1964.

The head was never found and was replaced with another which was modelled on the original.

No-one was arrested on that occasion, although several people including a radical artist have claimed responsibility.

One of the statue's arms was also cut off in 1983.

The Radical Feminist Fraction, a previously unheard of group which claimed responsibility for Tuesday's vandalism, said they had done it to highlight men's fixation with women's bodies.

They said they wanted to "create a symbol of sexually-fixated and misogynist male dream of women as bodies without heads".

But Danish police are not convinced that the claim is genuine and they are still investigating the incident.

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