The X-rated Little Mermaid

Sculptor's descendants sue filmmaker for depicting Copenhagen's beloved mermaid on porn video.

Published January 31, 2000 5:00PM (EST)

Jan. 31, 2000

She's naked, but she isn't nasty. The bare-torsoed "Little Mermaid" statue that coyly reclines in Copenhagen's harbor is a fairy tale innocent, not an erotic nymph. Her nudity is chaste and virginal. And don't you dare indulge in any perverted fantasies about her!

This prissy point of view is being put forth by the dim descendants of the celebrated mermaid's creator, Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen. The huffy heirs are suing pornographer Barny Nygaard, who smeared lurid images of the sea siren on the cover of his adult videotape, "Love in Copenhagen," reports Agence France-Presse.

Although Nygaard has already removed the precious fish-maid's photo from his video and offered to pay 7,000 kronor (U.S. $926) in damages, the flustered family wants more. They're demanding 83,000 kronor (U.S. $10,981) because they believe the filmmaker "sullied the image, the reputation and the memory" of their artistic ancestor.

Naked World says: Get a life, you wretched parasites! The Little Mermaid already garners far more fame and respect than she deserves. An estimated 1 million tourists ferry out annually to gaze at this diminutive disappointment that is fawningly adored as the saccharine symbol of Copenhagen.

Sex inspired the statue anyway, you hypocrite spawn! The Little Mermaid is supposedly the salty heroine of a Hans Christian Andersen tale, but the filthy truth is that Carlsberg beer magnate Carl Jacobsen commissioned the Baywatching icon because he wanted to immortalize the graceful physique of a local ballerina.

The wet babe has been splashed by scandals ever since her unveiling in 1913. Vandals sawed off her head in 1964. In fact, the present siren is a sort of piecemeal duplicate.

One arm was amputated in 1983, a decapitation reoccurred in 1998 and graffiti regularly encrusts the watery wench. Undoubtedly, the recent porn debut won't be the last mishap in this slimy sea-creature's life.

By Hank Hyena

Hank Hyena is a former columnist for SF Gate, and a frequent contributor to Salon.

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