Denmark’s “Little Mermaid” sculpture – the country’s most famous landmark – was daubed with “Free Hong Kong” graffiti by vandals early on Monday.

The 107-year-old bronze is based on the fairytale by Denmark’s Hans Christian Andersen.

A protest on Sunday. Photo: Studio Incendo.

It remains a major draw for Chinese tourists in Copenhagen, attracting a million visitors per year. However, it is no stranger to vandalism and political campaigning.

The mermaid was decapitated as part of a European revolutionary movement in the 1960s, was blown up in 2003, and was draped in a burqa a year later in protest of Turkey’s bid to join the European Union.

Protests erupted last June in Hong Kong over a now-axed extradition bill. They have escalated into sometimes violent displays of dissent against police behaviour, amid calls for democracy and anger over Beijing’s encroachment.

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Tom Grundy

Tom is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications & New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Quartz, Global Post and others.