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Too Wet to Return Mermaid to Pond

As sharp-eyed sculpture enthusiasts may have noticed, the bronze mermaid statue that has long perched in the pond alongside Hljómskálagarður park in downtown Reykjavík has been missing for months. reports that the statue toppled into the pond during stormy weather last November. It has since been restored, but wet weather conditions have prevented it from being returned to the pond.

“There was more damage to her than we thought[…]We’ve repaired her and she’s been ready since February,” explained Sig­urður Trausti Trausta­son, the department head at the Reykjavík Art Museum, which oversees the sculpture garden.

Hafmeyan, (The Mermaid) by Icelandic sculptor Nína Sæmundsson, was a gift to the City of Reykjavík in 2014 from Smáralind shopping center in the neighbouring town of Kópavogur. It was introduced as part of the new statue garden in the park, which celebrates the foremothers of Icelandic sculpture.

An identical statue by the sculptor stood in the pond from August 1959 until New Year’s Day 1960, when it was blown up. The current mermaid was cast in bronze using the artist’s original mould from 1948.

Sigurður Trausti says that the mermaid’s foundation has been reinforced so that hopefully, she’ll be less likely to topple into the pond again in the future. However, the recent months of rain have prevented the museum from returning the mermaid to her post. “…It’s been raining for many months and so it isn’t possible to drive a crane into the garden and hoist her up on the pedestal without damaging the grass.” However, it’s hoped that conditions will soon be dry enough to return the mermaid to her home.

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