Coveted Danish statue heavily vandalized

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Copenhagen’s famed Little Mermaid, a bronze statue depicting a mermaid sitting on a rock by the waterside, was found doused with red paint Tuesday. On the ground in front of the statue, a message written in the red paint translates to, “Denmark defend the whales of the Faeroe Islands.”

According to Danish media, the message references opposition to a tradition allowed by authorities on the Faeroe Islands. In the summer months, islanders drive herds of pilot whales into shallow waters of the North Atlantic. They are then killed, and the meat and blubber are shared. The non-commercial practice is a tradition that dates back to the 16th century. The islanders average 800 pilot whale kills each year.

Proponents argue that pilot whales are not endangered. Land officials report the pilot whale population in the area numbers approximately 100,000 whales, while the eastern North Atlantic ocean is home to about 778,000 whales.

The Little Mermaid has been perched atop a rock by the Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen, Denmark, since 1913. The statue has suffered other abuses since it’s installation.  She also been removed from her perch, beheaded, previously painted and damaged by the sea. The 4-foot tall statue was created as a tribute to Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen by sculptor Edvard Eriksen.

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