26/03/10 - Denmark sent off yesterday its cherished Little Mermaid statue to Shanghai to be placed in the Danish Pavilion at the Expo opening on May 1.
The Little Mermaid is a cultural symbol of Copenhagen, Denmark, constructed in 1913 in the memory of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen (1805 - 1875). Andersen wrote "The Little Mermaid," which has since been adapted by Disney and other various media.
A farewell ceremony, which took place yesterday at the Copenhagen Harbor, was presided by the Danish Commissioner-General to EXPO Shanghai 2010, Christopher Bo Bramsen. A performance by two dancers, one dressed as a Chinese-style dragon and the other a mermaid, symbolized the close ties between China and Denmark. Chinese and Danish children also sang songs to see the Little Mermaid off. Speeches were given by the Danish Economic and Business Affairs Minister Brian Mikkelsen, Copenhagen Lord Mayor, Frank Jensen, and officials from the Chinese Embassy in Denmark.
The statue, 1.25 meters high and weighing about 175 kilograms, will be traveling from Copenhagen Harbor for the first time since 1913. It will be placed in the midst of a 20-meter wide pool in the middle of the pavilion. The Little Mermaid will be returned after the Expo.
Denmark has coined a term for its pavilion name at the Expo using the words welfare and fairytales: "Welfairytales." The underlying concept is that after the attainment of wealth, one will go for welfare, a more complex notion, and that wealth and welfare go hand-in-hand. The pavilion will add an element of fairytales to this notion. The message is that growth must be accompanied by sustainability and social responsibility, and the pavilion will present Danish technological solutions to city problems.