Denmark: Ni Hao Little Mermaid
26 March 2010
The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen's most visited monument, is set to leave her rock facing the port of Copenhagen for a trip to Shanghai, where she will grace the Danish pavilion at Expo 2010. On the occasion of her departure, Politiken reminds its readers that the city's, and indeed the country's, most famous symbol, began life as a character in the eponymous story by Hans Christian Andersen – a fact that no one has bothered to communicate to conservative Economy and Business Affairs Minister Brian Mikkelsen, who believes that the likeness of the love-lorn sea nymph will "tell the story of our welfare state and Danish industry in Shanghai." As the centre-left daily explains, the tale of the Little Mermaid makes no mention of Denmark or Danes. Her fame is due to the fact that she was selected as a national symbol by the Danish tourist board, which wanted to present Denmark as the homeland of fairy tales.