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Denmark's Poor 'Little Mermaid' Vandalized Again

Copenhagen's Little Mermaid statue doused with red paint
Image: Red paint covers  the vandalized tourist attraction The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen
Red paint covers the vandalized Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen on Tuesday. Jens Dresling / Ritzau Foto via AP

Danish officials on Tuesday hosed down Copenhagen's famed Little Mermaid after the statue was found doused with red paint.

On the ground in front of the statue was written in the red, in English, "Danmark (sic) defend the whales of the Faroe Islands (sic)" — likely a reference to the drive hunting of pilot whales in the North Atlantic islands during the summer months, Danish media say.

People take photos next to the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen on Tuesday.Ida Marie Odgaard / Scanpix Denmark via Reuters

Authorities on the Faeroe Islands allow islanders to drive herds of pilot whales into shallow waters, where they are stabbed to death. The meat and blubber are shared afterward in the non-commercial slaughter, a practice that dates from the late 16th century. The whales are not an endangered species.

Island officials say that the pilot whale population in the eastern North Atlantic is abundant with about 778,000 whales, with approximately 100,000 around the Faroe Islands. Islanders hunt and kill on average 800 pilot whales each year.VIDEO: Whaling Protesters Cover Copenhagen Little Mermaid Statue With Red Paint

The Little Mermaid was created by Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen in tribute to the Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen. Sitting on a rock at the entrance of the Copenhagen harbor since 1913, she also been a popular target for vandals, who have blown her off her perch, beheaded her, and painted her.

A man cleans the Little Mermaid statue on Tuesday.Ida Marie Odgaard / Scanpix Denmark via Reuters