The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, one of Denmark's most iconic landmarks, was vandalised overnight Thursday with a Russian flag painted across the statue's base.
The colours of Russia's flag had been painted on the stone where the statue rests of the heroine from Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen's famous novel, an AFP journalist saw.
Copenhagen police told AFP they had been at the scene in the morning and recorded "a case of vandalism."
"Investigations have been carried out in the area in order to find traces," police added.
An investigation had been opened into act, an apparent sign of support for Moscow in the midst of its war in Ukraine.
A few puzzled tourists photographed the vandalised statue on Thursday morning.
The Little Mermaid -- inspired by a character in Danish poet and author Andersen's 1837 fairytale of the same name -- is a 175-kilogram (385-pound) statue by sculptor Edvard Eriksen.
The statue, which sits on a relatively secluded waterfront promenade, has been vandalised numerous times over the years -- including when the mermaid's head was stolen in 1964 and 1998, as well as when an arm was cut off in 1984.
In 1998, vandals cut off its head again, but it was later returned, before the statue was blown up in 2003.
It has been tagged and painted many times, most recently in 2020 with the mysterious inscription "Racist fish".
© Agence France-Presse
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