Two Little Mermaids in Denmark can't fit: it's legal battle

It's a legal battle between the heirs of Eriksen, sculptor of Copenhagen's famous Little Mermaid, and Palle Moerk, the artist who recently made another Little Mermaid in Denmark.

The famous bronze statue of the Little Mermaid has now become a symbol of Copenhagen: it has been welcoming visitors to the Danish capital’s harbor since 1913. Since 2016, however, there has been another Little Mermaid in Denmark, in the village of Asaa in the north of the country. A legal battle is now underway over this double presence between the heirs of the sculptor of the first one, Edvard Eriksen, and the artist who made the second one, Palle Moerk, a few years ago.

Eriksen’sheirs claim that the statue completed by Moerk is too similar to that of their ancestor: they have therefore sued the village of Asaa, because it has agreed to display the newer sculpture, and also demand financial compensation and removal of the work.

The position of the two Little Mermaids appears very similar, but the one in Copenhagen is made of bronze, is 125 centimeters high, and was made by the artist with the features of his wife, while the one in Asaa is made of granite and appears more fleshed out than the one in Eriksen (in fact, it weighs three tons as opposed to 175 kilos for the other). The facial expression is totally different.

The mayor of Broenderslev, a municipality that includes Asaa, Mikael Klitgaard, told the New York Times that he immediately thought it was a joke and that when he received the e-mail from Eriksen’s heirs he laughed; but it was all true.

Palle Moerk, on the other hand, responded to theaccusation of plagiarism by saying that it was her own creation and that she was only inspired by the statue in Copenhagen. Regarding the request to remove her work she disagreed: “I didn’t think we destroyed artwork in Denmark. These things are done by the Taliban.”

Two Little Mermaids in Denmark can't fit: it's legal battle
Two Little Mermaids in Denmark can't fit: it's legal battle

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