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Denmark: Russian flag painted on Little Mermaid statue

The Russian flag is painted on the stone the Little Mermaid sits on

The Russian flag is painted on the stone the Little Mermaid sits on

A statue with Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid was vandalized with the colors of the Russian flag painted on the rock below, Danish media reported on Thursday.

The 1.65-meter (5.4-foot) -high bronze statue lies in Copenhagen harbor.

Police said it was a "case of vandalism" at the Danish capital's famous landmark. Three stripes in white, blue and red were sprayed onto the stone plinth at the base of the statue.

Authorities are not certain exactly when the incident occurred.

Cleaners removed the paint from the statue on Thursday morning while Copenhagen police confirmed they have started an investigation.

Statue often targeted

The Little Mermaid was modeled on the eponymous fairy tale by Andersen.

The 110-year-old statue was created in tribute to the Danish author and has long been a popular target for vandals, who have previously blown the mermaid off her perch.

The statue has previously been beheaded, as well as drenched in paint.

The bronze is based on a mythical sea king's daughter who, according to Andersen's story, falls in love with a prince and wants to become human, having legs instead of a mermaid tail.

Several buildings in Denmark are adorned with the Ukrainian flag, expressing solidarity with Kyiv as the world marks a year since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of its neighbor.

jsi(ar (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)