Denmark's Little Mermaid begins trip to China
Last Updated: Thursday, March 25, 2010 | 2:52 PM ET
Denmark's Little Mermaid statue, which has spent the last 96 years in Copenhagen harbour, is on her way to China.
The 1.5-metre-statue was lifted by crane from its usual perch Thursday to begin the trip to the World Expo in Shanghai, opening May 1.
The statue is to be a centrepiece of the Danish pavilion at the Shanghai Expo.
It is the first trip abroad for the bronze statue, created by Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen to honour the memory of fairytale chronicler Hans Christian Andersen.
The exact travel itinerary of the work is being kept secret for security reasons.
Hundreds of Danes attended a ceremony Thursday to say goodbye to the Little Mermaid, which was inspired by one of Andersen's best-loved tales.
Anne-Marie Henning, 92, said she would miss the statue.
"I have been coming here for years as I live in the neighbourhood," Henning said. "It will feel strange without her."
There is controversy over the decision to move the city's beloved statue. But Bo Bramsen, the Danish commissioner-general for Expo 2010, dismissed the idea of sending a replica.
"Why send a copy when you can send the real thing?"
A video installation by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei will replace the Little Mermaid until the statue returns in November. The multimedia artwork will include a live broadcast of the statue in Shanghai.
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