Monday, November 1, 2010

Little Mermaid Returning Home

Since I covered its departure, I thought I would cover its return, too. From The Little Mermaid -- time to say goodbye to China by Yang Jingzhong, Lu Ming'ou:

Once upon a time, there was a bronze mermaid keeping watch over the harbor of Copenhagen. Beloved by the Danish city's inhabitants, she was an icon not just of Copenhagen but of the entire kingdom of Denmark.

The Little Mermaid sculpture, created by Edvard Eriksen in 1913 after the character in Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, had been admired by tourists from all over the world. This spring, she was brought to the Shanghai World Expo 2010 as a token of friendship between Denmark and China.

Now the mermaid is the centerpiece of the Danish Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo. So far the Danish Pavilion has drawn more than 5.55 million visitors, tantamount to the total population of Denmark. This far exceeds the original expectation of 3 million visitors by the Danish organizers, Christopher Bo Bramsen, Denmark's commissioner general to the Shanghai Expo, said.

To see the mermaid "in person" was a highlight for many visitors.

"I never dreamed of seeing the Little Mermaid myself," said Zha, a 72-year-old retired teacher from Jiangsu Province in east China, who used to tell his middle school students the tale of the Little Mermaid.

In August, 15-year-old Wei Yangchen headed straight to the Danish Pavilion to witness the 97th birthday celebration of the Little Mermaid.

continued at article

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