Skeleton Replaces Copenhagen Mermaid

Denmark's iconic statue of Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid normally sits in the Copenhagen Harbor, but left last week for temporary residence at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. On April Fool's Day, she returned -as a skeleton! The skeleton display was made from human bones and a swordfish skeleton, according to Hanne Strager, the head of exhibitions at the Natural History Museum of Denmark.

Her skeleton replacement was introduced to the media in a prank statement that said the Little Mermaid "had returned".

The statement claimed it was the only remaining complete skeleton of a "Hydronymphus pesci", a species said to be extinct since the end of the 17th century.

It claimed to have acquired the remains at the beginning of the 18th century, and that the only other skeleton of the specimen, in Saint Petersburg's Hermitage museum, was "not as complete as Copenhagen's" because of its missing tail.

After basking in the Copenhagen sun for two hours, the fake skeleton was returned to the museum where it would be displayed during the Easter holidays, Strager said.

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