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An activity created by Isabel Pérez Torres Text adapted from Time, January 19, 1998)


Oscar Wilde might have said ,"To lose one head may be regarded as a misfortune, but to lose two looks like carelessness". Last week in Copenhagen the city’s favourite landmark, *The Little Mermaid, lost her head for the second time in 34 years. The head that vandals sawed off this time was a replacement for the original, which was never found after it was taken in 1964. The charming bronze sculpture, made in 1913 by Edvard Eriksen, has been a target for attacks on other occasions , losing an arm in 1983 and often daubed with paint and graffiti..

Responsability for the latest attack was initially claimed by a Danish feminist group, who later denied their involvement. By the week’s end the bronze head had been delivered to a television station offices by a man wearing a black hood. The return was filmed by the same freelance cameraman who was first alerted to the act of vandalism in the harborside park, where half a million tourists a year visit the wistful figure. According to Hans Christian Andersen’s story, The little Mermaid was half-human, half-fish daughter of the Sea King, who must wait on her rock for 300 years until she can become human. She could lose her head many more times before that.

(Time, January 19, 1998)
*The Little Mermaid la sirenita


  1. Has the sculpture recovered her head on the two occasions that she has lost it?
  2. What other attacks has she suffered?
  3. According to Hans Christian Andersen , in which year will the Little Mermaid become human?


  1. Find one synonym in the text for "SEEM".
  2. Find one synonym in the text for "OBJECTIVE".
  3. Find one opposite in the text for "HORRIBLE, UGLY".
  4. Find in the text the word which has the following definition: "deliberate destruction of something useful or beautiful".


  1. Rewrite the following sentence without changing the meaning: By the week’s end the bronze head had been delivered to a television station by a man. By the week’s end a man...............................................
  2. Join the sentences in an appropiate way (do not use AND). The Little Mermaid must wait until she can become human. She has lost her head for the second time.
  3. Put the following sentence into the Passive Voice: Vandals sawed off her head.
  4. Use the verbs in brackets correctly: If they (find) the original head, they (not replace) it with a new one. But it was never found.


  1. Are there any solutions for vandalism in our society?
  2. Monuments and works of art are representatives of some cities.