In my time wandering around Copenhagen, the Little Mermaid statue was not high on my priority list. But Tom Yulsman had arrived early for the conference and done a bit of scouting, which revealed that the statue was in fact on loan to the Shanghai World Expo. In its place down at the waterfront, Tom explained, they’ve erected a large video screen with a live feed of the Mermaid and the Chinese visitors coming to see it.
Kaching! That’s such an incredibly 21st century thing on several layers – the technology itself, the Chinese and Europeans reaching out for ways to understand one another via kitsch iconography. I had to go.
When I walked down there yesterday afternoon, there was a group of Asian tourists down by the water taking pictures. If I had been alert, I would have walked down to see what country they were from, but there’s where the “I was just in blogger mode” thing kicks in. So I don’t know if they were from China. But the idea of Asian tourists in Denmark looking at a live TV feed of Chinese people looking at a Danish tourist icon in China…. The layers boggle.
But here’s the best part. The tourists weren’t even looking at the video screen. They were busy taking pictures of two swans swimming nearby.