The picture is drawn by the illustrator Rasmus Meisler and shows a gloomy mermaid, drawn as a zombie with red eyes.

Like the famous statue, she sits on a rock in the beach jug.

Barbed wire is all around and she has a torn Danish flag in her hand

The headline reads: "Evil in Denmark".

The picture illustrated an article in the newspaper about the Danish debate climate which was published in Berlingske 18 April 2019.

Sueded by the artist's family

But the publication of the image thus violates Danish copyright, according to a ruling in Copenhagen District Court on Monday.

The court believes that the drawing is too similar to the original statue to be counted as a new work, and that it demonizes The Little Mermaid.

You write:

"It is obvious that The Little Mermaid is thus associated with political messages, right-wing extremism and evil."

Large fine

Belingske's editor-in-chief Tom Jensen will pay 285,000 Danish kroner (around 390,000 Swedish kroner) plus legal costs to the artist Edvard Eriksen's relatives, who are behind the registration.

- We know that the heirs of Edvard Eriksen are very offensive when it comes to suing those who use the sculpture in different contexts.

It is common knowledge in the Danish media that one should beware of it, says Tom Jensen.

Nevertheless, he is surprised that the illustration, which he believes is far from an exact depiction of the original statue, has led to a conviction and such a high fine.

- It is problematic for the media that you can not start from the national symbol that The Little Mermaid is without getting into a copyright conflict.

I think that is a big problem, he says.

The newspaper is also convicted of publishing a photo of the mermaid wearing a mouth guard in April.

"Completely wrong"

The verdict has received a lot of attention in Denmark and Tom Jensen has made it clear that it will be appealed.

- We must be able to use the strong symbols that exist in the world we live in. There must be room to interpret them and use them editorially.

This is a very important issue in principle of law, he says to Kulturnyheterna.

Several media outlets have previously demanded compensation after showing pictures of the statue.

The artist Edvard Eriksen's relatives have for many years had a restrictive attitude to the contexts in which The Little Mermaid may appear. The cultural news has been in contact with the relatives who do not want to comment on the verdict.