The Little Mermaid sculpture in Copenhagen is one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions and symbols. But further offshore in Vancouver, opposite Stanley Park, is a similar sculpture. Here is everything you need to know about the infamous Girl in a Wetsuit.
The story behind The Little Mermaid
Commissioned by Carl Jacobsen of Carlsberg Lager, and created by Edvard Eriksen in 1913, The Little Mermaid is a bronze statue located on the Langelinie Promenade in Copenhagen. It is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale of the same name.
The statue’s head was modeled after local ballerina Ellen Price, while Eriksen’s wife, Eline, posed for the body. Since the 1960s, The Little Mermaid has been a target of vandalism numerous times but continues to be restored. Vandals have decapitated the statue twice, removed an arm, covered it in every color of paint, and even blew it off its rock.
Copyrighting The Little Mermaid
The Girl in a Wetsuit
The Girl in a Wetsuit, created by Elek Imredy in 1972, is a bronze statue that sits on a rock in Stanley Park’s north side. Inspired by The Little Mermaid, Douglas Brown, a Vancouver lawyer, approached Imredy to do the work. Imredy’s friend, Debra Harrington posed for the sculpture, which depicts a woman in a wetsuit, complete with flippers and a snorkeling mask on her forehead. The Girl in a Wetsuit is an updated and less-revealing version of The Little Mermaid, which allowed Vancouver to avoid copyright issues and make the statue unique to the city.
Imredy said that, at the time, scuba diving was becoming popular in Vancouver. He believed the statue to be a new idea, and he thought the great controversy surrounding it was surprising. Following his death, his wife said that the Girl in a Wetsuit “represents Vancouver’s dependence on the sea, and the necessity to use the sea for the benefit of all.”
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.