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'Racist fish': Famous statue of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen harbor has been vandalized

One researcher said she's 'having a hard time seeing what is particularly racist' about the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale the statue is based on

Photo by MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen's harbor has been vandalized with the phrase "racist fish" scrawled on its stone base, SkyNews reported.

The five-and-a-half foot bronze statue, erected more than a century ago, is based on the character created by Hans Christian Andersen and is one of Copenhagen's most popular attractions, the outlet said.

What are the details?

The Little Mermaid statue also has been a favorite target for vandals, having been painted on, knocked off its perch, and beheaded twice, SkyNews said, adding that anti-whaling and pro-democracy activists have defaced it previously.

But no one has come forward to claim responsibility for this latest act, the outlet said.

"We consider it vandalism and have started an investigation," a Copenhagen police spokesman told SkyNews.

Ane Grum-Schwensen, researcher at the Hans Christian Andersen Centre at the University of Southern Denmark, told the outlet she was "having a hard time seeing what is particularly racist" about the fairytale the figure is taken from.

Anything else?

Disney is working on a live action remake of its 1989 animated film based on The Little Mermaid, which is to star 20-year-old singer and actress Halle Bailey, SkyNews said.

Bailey reportedly announced her casting exactly one year ago:

More from the outlet:

Last month, another statue in Copenhagen of a Danish missionary who played a key role in the colonization of Greenland was doused with red paint and the word "decolonize."

It is not known whether that incident and the latest defacing of The Little Mermaid are linked.

The appropriateness of statues around the world is being reconsidered following Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
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