Copenhagen sends Little Mermaid to Shanghai


Copenhagen’s statue of The Little Mermaid, known from H.C. Andersen’s fairytale, will travel around the world to be part of the 2010 Expo in Shanghai. This means that around 70 million people will experience the iconic symbol of the Danish capital.

She has been beheaded twice and has had her arm cut off, but The Little Mermaid has never left her spot on Langelinie pier since 1913. Until now. This evening Copenhagen City Council voted to send her far away from home to be staged in the Danish pavilion at the world exhibition Expo in Shanghai from April – November 2010. This ends a long controversy about Copenhagen’s symbol that has flourished since the idea was born.

Mermaid brings Copenhagen lifestyle

The Little Mermaid will be situated in the Mermaid Pool in the center of the Danish pavilion. Here visitors get the opportunity to try some of the best aspects of Danish city life themselves. They can ride around The Little Mermaid on a city bike like a true Copenhagener or have an organic picnic on the roof garden.

Architects from BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) and 2+1 Ideas Agency are behind the concept of the Danish pavilion. The idea is to move The Little Mermaid from Copenhagen to Shanghai as a gesture of cultural generosity and also an invitation to a cultural dialogue between Denmark and China.

While in Shanghai, The Little Mermaid’s place in Copenhagen will be temporarily taken over by a sculpture created by a Chinese artist. Also, a long list of activities is being put together, so tourists visiting the waterfront of Copenhagen won’t be disappointed.

“We ensure that not only The Little Mermaid, but also visitors at the harbor area get a wonderful experience in 2010. We are a welfare society rich on culture and international ambition and we are eager to share what we love the most with the rest of the world,” said Peter Romer Hansen, senior director at Wonderful Copenhagen, the city’s visitor and congress bureau.