A statue of Hans Christian Andersen is set to be drowned in a Danish harbour by its sculptor today, a fitting ending perhaps for the author of The Little Mermaid.
Artist Jens Galschiot’s 10-foot statue of Andersen has stood in Odense town square for the past five years, awaiting installation within a larger municipal work called The Storyteller’s Fountain.
But the local authority-backed initiative has fallen foul of the financial crisis, leaving Galschiot’s sculpture in limbo. Now, the artist intends to bury his effigy of Andersen in the harbour, leaving its head still visible from the pier.
The drowning, after which “grieving locals” will be served “funeral beer”, will not be the end of the statue’s story, however: Galschiot hopes to exhume it on Andersen’s birthday, 2 April, next year, and to make the burial and resurrection an annual event.
Andersen was a shy and reclusive man so the artist’s not sure he would have approved but he did like bathing a lot. “It would also allow for him to keep an eye on the mermaids,” said Galschiot.