The Little Mermaid (Danish: Den lille Havfrue) is a statue in Copenhagen, Denmark. It sits on a rock in the harbor. It was inspired by a performance of a ballet based on the fairy tale The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. It is 1.25 metres (4.1 ft) tall. Sculptor Edvard Eriksen created the bronze statue. It was presented to the public on 23 August 1913.
The statue was the idea of Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg. He asked ballerina, Ellen Price of Copenhagen's Royal Theatre, to pose for the statue. Only the statue's head was modelled on Price. She did not agree to pose in the nude, so the sculptor's wife, Eline Eriksen, posed for the body.
The Little Mermaid has been the victim of vandalism many times since the 1960s. Her head has been cut off, and she has had paint poured over her several times. In September 2003, the statue was knocked off its base with explosives. The statue has always been repaired after such acts.