While, of course, for this blog, I am concerned about the treatment of Garden Gnomes, let’s not forget all the other magical creatures, who suffer from our modern society. Mermaids in this world deserve more respect.
Who is actually wrestling with whom here?
Did the mermaid give her consent?
Why is part of her torso so shiny?
It very likely boils down to a question of beliefs here. What if these old statues are just long forgotten forms of journalism? Have we not learned from Hans Christian Andersen? Next time you encounter mermaids, or any other (magical) being, pause for a second and be nice. We are all connected. It’s the tiny things, that make the world go ’round.
What are we all without some kind of magic?
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13 thoughts on “On the Treatment of Mermaids”
Notice how their facial expressions differ, I wonder what was the intention of the sculptor.
Hi there, I had to look it up. He is supposed to ba a normal fisherman suprised about his catch. Well … It is a child of its time but there is an initiative now that finds the violence of the statue inapropriate. We’ll see what happens with it
That is a very striking statue!! Is that near you? Does it have a name? Thanks!
This statue is at the entrance of Victoriapark in Berlin Kreuzberg (a beautiful place) “Der seltene Fang“ by Ernst Gustav Herter, 1896. I had to look up the name and came across a recent article (in German) https://gruene-xhain.de/gewalt-gegen-frauen-ist-keine-deko/ Supposedly the fisherman has a surprised look finding a meermaid in his net. However, the reception changed in recent years. The statue is seen as sexualized violence because she is held against her will. An initiative is now figuring out what to do with it. Not taking it down, more finding a way to explain the context & the role of women in art. (Maybe google translate can explain it better…) Salut!
Thank you very much indeed for taking the time to research this and for the link! I really appreciate it! Hmm, I can see that some art may need explaining but I also think there is a danger to piling our current prejudices onto old art. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!
I totally agree with you but I like the idea of trying to explain the context somehow, rather than taking it down together… An orange is an orange is an orange;)
😉 Yes, a small plaque about the artist and an explanation that mermaids caught in fishermen’s nets is a familiar theme in European folklore might do the trick.
It is certainly too good a statute to be sent away into a storage warehouse.
Hopefully the next scene was the mermaid slapping this guy with her tail and swimming away! 🙂
I’m pretty sure that’s what happened 🙂
Obviously mermaids can be green or any other color. Hey, Poseidon. No means no.
Thought-provoking. An explanation of the art’s theme and time might help put context to any shock felt by visitors, but probably the shock would still be there. As a subject of folklore it should earn a pass? (it is art based on our ideas of ancient fiction – which may have actually once been true if we believe in myths and fairies etc). Compare that to say a statue of a colonial slaver who made money out of human misery (art based on absolute fact). Statues will always be divisive now, as with any art exploring sensitive themes and topics.
You put this so well, there’s really not much to add. Our reaction was funny though. It went from “oh cool, a mermaid statue” to “mmh, what is he doing there”