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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » May 28, 2008
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Row Over Replica Mermaid
May 28, 2008   
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The landmark statue of the Warsaw Mermaid in the middle of the Old Town Market Square was replaced with a bronze replica on May 11. The swap came after Warsaw's historical heritage officer decided the original statue should be safeguarded from weather damage and from hooligans, who have frequently defaced it in recent years.

The original Mermaid statue, made of brittle and easily damaged zinc, was created in 1855 by Konstanty Hegel. After minor repairs the statue will be handed over to the Warsaw Historical Museum on June 1.

The President's Office financed a new cast of the statue and ordered another copy that President Lech Kaczyński plans to give to the president of Georgia as a gift.

However, the replacement of the statue with a replica has started a heated discussion. Some Warsaw residents have opposed hiding the original Mermaid away in a museum. They say that by standing outdoors for many years the statue has gained in character and value.
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