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Little Mermaid ready for Shanghai flight

THE famous Little Mermaid statue will be boxed up in Denmark and sent to China tonight for the Expo 2010 in Shanghai, accompanied by a bodyguard.

This is the first time the statue has traveled from its home in Copenhagen Harbor since it was erected in 1913.

A farewell ceremony will be held around 2:45pm local time (8:45pm Beijing time) in Langelinie Park in Copenhagen.

Two dancers dressed like Chinese dragon and a mermaid, will perform a dance which symbolizes the friendly relationship between China and Denmark.

Chinese and Danish children will be singing songs in both languages.

Some farewell speeches will be given by the Minister for Economic and Business Affairs, the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen and the chargé d'affaires from the Chinese embassy in Denmark.

Finally, after a ribbon cutting ceremony, the Mermaid will be lifted up by a crane and driven away from the sights of crowds.

"It is of course emotional to most of the people of Copenhagen to say goodbye to their beloved Mermaid, but many of the Danes think it is a positive thing that she will be the representative for Denmark at the Expo," said Christopher Bramsen, Commissioner General of Denmark to Expo 2010 who presided at the ceremony in the park.

The statue is expected to greet visitor in Shanghai starting from the end of April and will return to the Danish capital by the end of November. The Expo will start on May 1 and close on October 30.

An experienced Danish stonecutter, who is in charge of the protection and repair of all the monuments in Copenhagen, including the Mermaid, will accompany her during the 12-hour flight.


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