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Jun 16, 2017 10:36 AM EDT

The famous Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark has been painted bloody red. Sea Shepherd, a non-profit organization led by Captain Paul Watson, made the protest.

According to Law Street Media, the “vandalism” condemns the brutal killing of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands. Otherwise known as The Grind, this barbaric activity is believed to be supported by the Denmark government.

For thousands of years, the tribe living in the Faroe Islands has been slaughtering pilot whales on an annual basis. In it, the people use machetes, hammers, and swords to kill the whales. Captain Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd have intensely worked on stopping The Grind since the 1980s.

Unfortunately, the locals have pushed them away, arguing that the killing of pilot whales is “critical” for both food and tradition. On the contrary, Captain Paul Watson already noted that he will never respect any tradition that commits murder. Now, he defends the act of “vandalism”, saying that it is not a criminal act compared to the butchering of innocent and intelligent marine creatures.

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While the painting of the Little Mermaid may look like a petty offense, it has served its purpose indeed. Sea Shepherd only wants the world to shift its attention back to the Faroe Islands. The conservation group also requested the European Commission to hold Denmark accountable for The Grind.

Visitors at Copenhagen played a vital role in spreading the information through photos and posts on social media sites. Nevertheless, the paint will have been removed from the statue after a week. However, at the moment, the beautiful sculpture has turned into a powerful statement.

Per Trill Mag, the Little Mermaid statue has been a canvas for activism in Denmark. The first “vandalism” occurred in 1964 when the statue’s head was sawn off and stolen by protesters. It was even amputated with explosives. In 2004, it was seen covered in Burqa as an objection to Turkey’s application to join the European Union. Four years after, it was again seen wearing a hijab.

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