The fury of protestors who have come out on the streets after the killing of George Floyd in USA has taken its toll on several statues. Many have been toppled and several defaced. Some of the statues desecrated are of highly revered figures such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Apparently, they too are bad people by the standards of some of the extremist protestors.
But in a truly bizarre occurrence, demonstrators in Denmark, of all places, have targeted a statue that is not of a historical figure, but a fictional one, and that too, someone who is not human. In Copenhagen, the famous statue of the Little Mermaid – from Hans Christian Anderson's eponymous story – was defaced.
The protestors who went after it wrote the letters 'Racist Fish' on the rock that is the base of the bronze image. As of now, no recognised group has taken responsibility for this action and it is not certain that they were imitating the statue hunters in USA. It is also not clear why those who wrote these two words thought that this character from a fairy tale is racist.
Interestingly, this is not the first time this statue has been targeted. It has been broken, detached, and doused in paint. Though the previous attacks may not have been by those who perceived the image to be racist. The last time it was desecrated was earlier this year itself. In January, some people wrote 'Free Hong Kong' on the statue.
This statue, which honours the memory of the legendary Danish author's story from 1837 is itself more than a century old. It was created by the sculptor Edvard Eriksen and inaugurated in 1913. It since became a tourist destination and its location on the famous Langelinie Promenade has also made it one of the most recognizable sights of the city.
The people who desecrated the statue this time may have been prompted not only by the Black Lives Matter protests in USA and certain parts of Europe. Recently, a biracial man was killed by two Caucasian men in Denmark in an incident that the authorities said was not caused by racist hatred. This has led to some discontentment from human rights groups.
Whether it was this matter that brought some people out to deface this statue or sympathy for protesters elsewhere, many people are having a hard time wondering the link between the mermaid and racism.