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Actress and mermaid Esther Williams dies at 91

By |June 24th, 2015|



20′ Mermaid statue installed in Limassol on Cyprus

By |June 4th, 2014|

~Alkisti Nicolaou Hadjiyianni

It was announced today that a 6 meter (20′) bronze mermaid statue was installed on the Porto Bello Business and Cultural Centre in Limassol, on the south side of Cyprus.

The Centre overlooks the harbor, and the mermaid statue was installed on the roof, where it can be seen from the harbor and from all sides.



Ama the Mermaid has arrived in Tarpon Springs

By |April 5th, 2014|

Ama Tarpon Springs

The beautiful and charming City of Tarpon Springs on the west coast of Florida now has its fabulous 6′ 4″ bronze mermaid statue, the Ama Tarpon Springs.                      

She was installed March 31st, and unveiled on April 1st, in time to be admired by all those attending Tarpon Springs’ Annual Fine Arts Festival this weekend.

The official welcome and dedication ceremony will be on April 9th 2014 at 5:30pm, in Craig Park, where visitors will have a chance to meet Amaryllis, the French sculptor.   City officials and the Tarpon Springs Public Art Committee will attend of course.  You are invited.

Not your usual mermaid, the Ama statue has both legs and a tail.   She has legs while on land, with her scales and tail carried with her over her shoulder for when she returns to her own element.  Her message – the reason she is here – is ocean conservation, and the hope that we will help protect all marine life and the seas that are the cradle of life on our planet.

She fits in perfectly with the Tarpon Springs’ strong tradition of cultural arts and its strong Greek heritage – mermaids originated in Greek mythology after all.  The city is also a haven for manatees, the graceful creatures historically associated with mermaid sightings, and the Ama sculpture includes a small manatee at the base.   Lastly, the sculpture includes a vase sponge as a tribute to the city’s tradition of sponge diving.

The statue is part of the Amaryllis Art for Charity project sponsored by German company Koh-i-Noor, which aims to eventually place 100 similar Ama statues across the world in locations of great beauty near water.  Ama Tarpon Springs is the 17th statue in the series, and the first on America’s East Coast.

The name Ama comes from the Japanese word Ama, referring to traditional pearl divers in Japan.

More information on our Ama Tarpon Springs page.

The “Great Cascade” Fountain Mermaids in St. Petersburg (Russia)

By |March 13th, 2014|


“The fountains at Peterhof in St. Petersburg (Russia) are immensely impressive, built on a grand scale. The Samson Fountain, which is part of the “Great Cascade”, has a number of mermaid statues.

Both the child and grown mermaids are twin-tailed mermaids, which was quite common for mermaid sculptures at that time in history.


Peterhof Mermaids.  Photo by Jonathan Ho.

Peterhof Mermaids. Photo by Jonathan Ho.

The statues and the fountain date back to about 1730, and were created on the orders of Peter the Great, and were inspired by the French Château de Marly.   The fountains are powered by water pressure from natural springs at a higher elevation, with no need for pumps.

More information on the Peterhof Mermaids page.


British Mermaids on LinkedIn

By |March 12th, 2014|


I saw an interesting article today, mentioning the rapid growth of LinkedIn in England, and mentioning that the 15 million LinkedIn members in the United Kingdom include 66 rocket scientists and 5 mermaids.

It just goes to show that a mermaid tail is not just a pastime – it can be a key part of a resume and career.

Maryland Mermaid Teaches Ocean Conservation

By |March 6th, 2014|

There was a nice article yesterday in The Cavalier Daily about Hales Parcells, a college student who turned her love of mermaids and her passion for ocean conservation into a program of teaching school kids about preservation of the Chesapeake Bay while wearing her mermaid tail.

It is another great example of merging passions and social betterment programs.

Many mermaid performers are very active in ocean conservation, and it is a recurring theme also in mermaid art.

The growing enthusiasm and interest in mermaids is a great springboard for raising awareness about ocean conservation.

You may be interested also in the Amaryllis Art for Charity project, with its statues around the world promoting ocean conservation.


Luxembourg’s 1050 anniversary mermaid sculpture has been selected

By |March 3rd, 2014|

Winning Design for Luxembourg's Melusine Mermaid Sculpture

Last year I reported that the City of Luxembourg (which is not just a city, but a country in its own right) was planning a mermaid statue for its 1050th anniversary.

A contest was concluded on February 25th, which selected a contest entry by artist Serge Ecker.  The photo on the left is of a miniature model of the sculpture.

The mermaid theme is based on a well-known legend that the mermaid Melusine was the wife of Count Siegfried, who founded Luxembourg in 963.

The Melusine legend exists in a number of versions across Europe, with similar elements.  Essentially Melusine marries, but with the stipulation that once a week she must have absolute privacy.   She turns into a mermaid every Saturday, and spends the time in a bathtub in complete privacy.   One day, her husband can no longer contain his curiosity and spies on his wife while she is bathing, and sees her as a mermaid.  At this point, she vanishes forever, although she is occasionally seen in a nearby river.

There is a famous statue in Baden (Austria), in the Undine fountain, based on the story of Undine by  Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué.   This story in turn is based partly on the Melusine legend.

Articles in the news media can be accessed below.


Bronze Mermaid Statue on Okinawa’s Moon Beach

By |March 2nd, 2014|

The Japanese island of Okinawa has a mermaid statue on Moon Beach on the western coast of the island.

Moon Beach Mermaid sculpture

Okinawa’s Moon Beach Mermaid. Photo © byMackenzie Bell.

The bronze statue was made in 1987 by world renowned artist Naka Bokunen, famous in particular for his brightly colored woodblock prints of Okinawa’s nature.

The statue commemorates a local legend about a mermaid who saved two swimming visitors to Moon Beach.  Mermaids rescuing swimmers or fishermen is a recurring theme in many local legends.

Moon Beach Mermaid Statue.  Photo © by Innuent.

Moon Beach Mermaid Statue. Photo © by Innuent.

See the Moon Beach Mermaid page for more information.

A Mermaid Comes to Tarpon Springs

By |January 29th, 2014|


Ama Maria in San Antonio, TX

It is official.  The beautiful and charming City of Tarpon Springs on the west coast of Florida is getting a fabulous 6′ 4″ bronze mermaid statue this spring.

The statue will tie in perfectly with the city’s strong tradition of cultural arts, with its strong Greek heritage, its tradition of diving for sponges and with its status as a haven for manatees.

The idea was proposed by yours truly to the Tarpon Springs Public Art Committee last year, and the idea was well received.  The Public Art Commission did a fabulous job of surveying city officials and prominent citizens for feedback on the idea.   Finding enthusiastic support from every quarter, a full proposal was made to the City Board of Commissioners, who authorized the project in December.   Final details were decided last week and the statue is currently in the process of being cast in bronze.

The statue, “Ama of Tarpon Springs”, is part of the Amaryllis Art for Charity project sponsored by German company Koh-i-Noor, which aims to eventually place 100 similar Ama statues across the world in locations of great beauty that are near water.  Ama of Tarpon Springs will be the 17th statue in the series, and the first on America’s East Coast.

The name Ama comes from the Japanese word Ama, referring to traditional pearl divers in Japan, similar to the haenyo divers of South Korea. Ama is also the nickname of French artist Amaryllis, who created the Ama mermaid sculpture as well as many other mermaid art pieces.

The Ama statue will be placed at the northernmost point of Craig Park, overlooking Spring Bayou and visible from the park, from the bayou waterways and from across the water. The statue will include a traditional vase sponge at the mermaid’s feet, and an engraving of a manatee on the base.

The Ama of Tarpon Springs project has been covered in the media by the Tampa Bay Times and the Suncoast News.




Mermaids on Australia’s Daydream Island

By |January 15th, 2014|

Daydream Island is just over half a mile long and about 600 feet wide, on the northeast coast of Australia, close to the Great Barrier Reef.   On the northeast tip of the island you will find 3 mermaids soaking up the sun.

Daydream Island Mermaids

The 3 mermaids on Daydream Island. Photo by Cam Pegg.

The mermaid statues are named Serenity, Aphrodesia and Infinity, representing respectively mind, body and spirit.   They were created by David Joffee.

Daydream Island Resort and Spa pretty much takes up the entire island.   The resort is split in two – one part on the north end of the island, the other on the south end, with the middle being mountainous rock rising up about 150 feet from sea level.   It is a tropical paradise, with more than a touch of a mermaid theme.


Daydream Island Mermaid Statues
Daydream Island Mermaid

Daydream Island Mermaid – Photos by James Burnell

For more photos and information on these mermaids, visit Daydream Island.

Thailand’s Golden Mermaid not a place for prayer

By |November 22nd, 2013|

Songkhla Golden Mermaid

The Golden Mermaid in Songkhla, Thailand, has been in the press this week as a result of people conducting prayers in her location, and draping her with yellow fabric.

Officials have publicly announced that this is misguided and actually detracts from her image – the statue is a popular tourist attraction and was constructed for this purpose as a symbol if the city.

One of the news articles is available here.



Weeki Wachee Springs – Mermaid Statues and Live Mermaids

By |October 3rd, 2013|

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park has been home to both live mermaids and mermaid statues since 1947.  Located on the west coast of Florida, it started out as a private enterprise, and was later owned by the ABC news network, but is today owned by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as a Florida State Park.  map

This sculpture stands at the entrance to the park, atop a 25′ pillar in the center of a water fountain.

Weeki Wachee Entrance Mermaid Sculpture

Weeki Wachee Entrance Mermaid Sculpture. Photo by Matt Kelland.

Weeki Wachee Springs is the deepest (400′) naturally occurring spring in the United States and is the source for the Weeki Wachee River.  It provides a steady flow of water (170 million gallons daily) at 74.2 °F year-round.   The river takes a winding course for a little over 7 miles befores it flows into the Gulf of Mexico, and is a haven for manatees and other fresh-water creatures.

The live mermaids perform essentially just above the spring source, watched from a stage in an aquarium-like setting.   They are thoroughly trained divers who have learned to dive for extended periods without masks, breathing from air hoses when needed, and able to hold their breath for several minutes underwater while performing.  On rare occasions they are joined by manatees who have decided to join them at the river source.  The park is open every day of the year, and there are typically 2-3 mermaid shows daily.

Most everyone in town knows someone who is or was a mermaid performer, and there are many reminders of mermaids around town.

In addition to the main attraction mermaid shows, the park also has river cruises and animal shows, a water park area with water slides and many gardens and paths with statues and other attractions.

In addition to the tall mermaid sculpture shown above, there are many other mermaid statues inside and outside the park, all of which have the more traditional single mermaid tail.

Weeki Wachee was and remains the original mermaid show.   With the advances in mermaid tails and the increased interest in mermaids over the last decade, other mermaid shows have been opened, in Las Vegas, South Korea and Dubai.

Mermaids Sculpture at Weeki Wachee Entrance

Mermaid Statues at Weeki Wachee Entrance. Photo © by Christopher-Schultz.

For many more photos, see the Weeki Wachee Mermaids page.

Gorgeous Mermaid Statue ‘La Sirena de Puerto Banus’ in Marbella, Spain

By |October 2nd, 2013|

This wonderful rendition of a mermaid in granite and marble was created by Barcelona sculptor Antonio Cañete, and is located on the waterfront promenade at the Puerto Jose  Banús harbor on the west side of Marbella on the south coast of Spain, about 30 miles from Gibraltar.

Mermaid sculpture in Puerto Banus, Marbella, Spain
Mermaid statue La Sirena Puerto Banus Marbella in Spain. Photo © by Chris Robertshaw.

Puerto Banús was created in the 1970’s and has become one of the key attractions in the Costa del Sol area, with 5 million visitors annually.   There are many works of art here.   With her location right on the beach walk promenade next to hundreds of yachts in the port, La Sirena has a prominent location in the sun and further enhances the natural beauty of the town and this area of Spain.

For more information and photos of this statue, see La Sirena de Puerto Banus.

Mermaid statues on Place de la Concorde in Paris

By |September 26th, 2013|

The tritons and nereids in the fountains at Place de la Concorde have been there since 1840, in the center of Paris.

Mermaid statues at Place de la Concorde

The Fountain at Place de la Concorde, with several mermaid statues. Photo © by Marie-Hélène Cingal.

The two fountains were designed by Jacques Ignace Hittorff, who was commissioned by King Louis-Philippe in 1831 to design the entire Place de la Concorde after Egypt gifted a 230-ton obelisk to France. The project was finished in 1840, with the help of 12 sculptors. The central figures were created in cast-iron, whereas the 12 triton and mermaid statues (6 in each fountain) were cast in bronze.

Place de la Concorde is located right by the river Seine, and is the largest square in Paris, with a rich history. It was named Place de la Concorde in the hope of future peace and a cessation of guillotine beheadings.

Mermaid and Triton in the Fountains at Place de la Concorde.

Mermaid and Triton at Place de la Concorde. Photo © by Marie-Hélène Cingal.

The fountains were inspired partly by Piazza San Pietro and Piazza Navona in Rome, both of which have fountains on either side of a central obelisk.

See more photos and info here.

Mermaid Statues as Public Art

By |September 13th, 2013|

In some situations an issue arises regarding the ‘propriety’ of mermaid statues as public art – whether they are family friendly or ‘decent’.

Since mermaids don’t wear clothes, excepting of course Disney mermaids, sculptors of fine art mermaid statues and sculptures almost always model them without clothes.

Occasionally there are concerns about this when a new statue is proposed.

Such statues are however very well received by the vast majority of people, children and adults alike.  Most people see beauty, aesthetics, grace, elegance and fairy tale magic when they see a mermaid statue.

Here are a few examples of mermaid statues as public art which are respected, admired and appreciated by the communities in which they are located, and which help bring culture, business and visitors to their cities:

The Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen

The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen. visited by millions each year.  It has been here for 100 years.
It is an icon of the city and of Denmark.  Photo © by News Øresund – Johan Wessman.

Cleveland Mermaids

Fidardo Landi’s Mermaids Sculpture at the Cleveland Museum of Art has been here since 1929,
visible from the Museum grounds and from East Blvd.

Nerissa, Mermaid of Salt Spring Island

The Rotary Club’s 2001 Mermaid in Ganges, Salt Spring Island, Canada.  Photo by Ruth Hartnup.

Mermaid Sculptures in Ghirardelli Square

Mermaids Fountain in Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco CA. Created in 1968 by Ruth Asawa, one of the
founders of the San Francisco School of the Arts. Photo © by Tyson Villanueva.

Oak Harbor Mermaid Sculpture

Mermaid Statue created by Larry Oliver in 2012 for the City of Oak Harbor,
Whidbey Island, Washington. Photo by Gerry Oliver.

Russian Mermaid at Soter Point

The ‘Russian’ Mermaid installed in 2009 at Soter Point in Ventura CA.  Photo by Sunny Oberto.

Concho River

Pearl of the Concho Mermaid by Jayne Charless Beck installed in 1994. Photo by Jonathan Cutrer.

Concho Mermaid

Pearl of the Concho Mermaid by Jayne Charless Beck installed in 1994. Photo by Jonathan Cutrer.

Ama du Cap Ferrat mermaid statue.

Ama mermaid statue in Cap Ferrat, France. Photo courtesy of Amaryllis.

Syrenka Mermaid Statue in Warsaw.

The Syrenka Mermaid Statue from 1855 in Warsaw, Poland is the icon of the city.  Photo © by Hans Cornette.

There are of course many other examples – there are over 180 public art mermaid statues across the world, most of which are listed here.

New Book Commemorates the Original Little Mermaid Statue Centennial

By |August 21st, 2013|

This book commemorates the 100 year anniversary on August 23, 2013, of Copenhagen’s world-famous statue of The Little Mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale from 1836.   (Read more about the Little Mermaid Statue)

The story is known all over the world, both in the Disney version and in the original fairy tale version.

The statue of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen is an icon of Denmark and of copenhagen, visited by over a million people each year.  It is by far the most famous mermaid statue in the world, and there are official public art replicas of the statue in many countries.

This book is a new and exact translation of the original Danish story into contemporary English.   It includes historical photos and background information on the original author, the statue’s sponsor, the sculptor and the live model for the statue, and includes original illustrations.   Additionally it includes photos of the many replicas of the statue in surprising locations around the world.

Book: The Little Mermaid Commemorative Edition

Book: “The Little Mermaid” Commemorative Edition

The book is available in printed editions from the FriesenPress bookstore, from, Barnes & Noble and most book retailers.

Electronic versions are available for Kindle, kobo and Nook.

Some pages from the book:

Excerpt from The Little Mermaid, Commemorative Edition

Excerpt from The Little Mermaid, Commemorative Edition

Excerpt from The Little Mermaid, Commemorative Edition

Excerpt from The Little Mermaid, Commemorative Edition











More information here.

Ruth Asawa’s mermaid statues in Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco

By |August 14th, 2013|

Ghirardelli Square is located in the historic Fisherman’s Wharf area of San Francisco.  The centerpiece of the square is Andrea’s Fountain with statues of turtles, large frogs, two mermaids and a mermaid child.

Mermaid Sculptures in Ghirardelli Square

Mermaid Statues in Ghirardelli Square. Photo © by Tyson Villanueva.

The fountain was created in 1968 by Ruth Asawa, and has a varying water feature – at times quiet, at other times gently spraying water and sometimes splashing water over all the fountain elements.

Asawa was instrumental in creating the San Francisco School of the Arts (renamed in tribute to her in 2010 to Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts). She passed away on August 5, 2013 at the age of 87.

The plaque close by the fountain states:

Then-owner William Roth selected Ruth Asawa, well known for her abstract, wowen-wire sculptures, to design and create the centerpiece fountain for Ghirardelli Square. Although it was unveiled amid some controversy in 1968, Asawa’s objective was to make a sculpture that could be enjoyed by everyone. She spent one year thinking about the design and another year sculpting it from a live model and casting it in bronze.

Although landscape architect Lawrence Halprin attacked Asawa’s design of a nursing mermaid seated on sea turtles for not being a “serious” work, Asawa’s intentions were clear: “For the old it would bring back the fantasy of their childhood, and for the young it would give them something to remember when they grow old!

I wanted to make something related to the sea…I thought of all the children, and maybe even some adults, who would stand by the seashore waiting for a turtle or a mermaid to appear. As you look at the sculpture you include the Bay view which was saved for all of us, and you wonder what lies below that surface.”

The most photographed feature of Ghirardelli Square, the fountain was named in honor of Andrea Jepson, the woman who served as the model for the mermaid.

Mermaid Statues in Ghirardelli Square

Mermaid Statues in Ghirardelli Square. Photo © by Timothy Carroll.

Mermaid Statues in Ghirardelli Square

Mermaid Statues in Ghirardelli Square. Photo © by Timothy Carroll.

Mermaid Statues in Ghirardelli Square

Mermaid Statues in Ghirardelli Square. Photo © by Diana Jepsen.

See more at the Andrea’s Fountain page.

Redwoods Mermaid Statue in Crescent City

By |August 11th, 2013|

Crescent City lies on the coast in northern California just 10 miles or so south of the Oregon border. This is the area of Redwoods State Park and other parks with ancient and enormous Sequoia trees. It is also the area of the early pioneers of the art of chainsaw wood carving in the 1950s and 1960s.

The mermaid statue in Crescent City was created by chainsaw carving pioneer Ken Kaiser in 1994, and graces the Crescent City Harbor area.

Crescent City Mermaid Statue.

Crescent City Mermaid Statue. Photo © by Barb Jernigan.

Ken Kaiser made a name for himself in 1961 when he made 50 giant chainsaw carvings for the Trees of Mystery enterprise about 15 miles south of Crescent city. The art of chainsaw carving developed greatly in the 1960s and 1970s with many more people getting involved.

The mermaid statue in Crescent City is a fitting monument to both the city and the art of chainsaw wood carving.

More information and photos at the Crescent City Mermaid page.

Ventura’s Mermaid Statue at Soter Point

By |August 5th, 2013|

The Russian mermaid statue at Soter Point in Ventura, California was donated by Alec & Tatyana Benke to the city of Ventura in 2009, and placed at Soter Point in collaboration with Samuel Povar and Andy Soter.

Russian Mermaid at Soter Point

The Russian Mermaid statue at Soter Point, Ventura CA. Photo by Sunny Oberto.

Alec Benke and his wife Tatyana emigrated from Kazakhstan to the United States and the mermaid statue is a symbol of their love for their new country.

The statue stands on a base created by Alec. With the base, the sculpture reaches more than 20 feet into the air.  The mermaid sculpture is meant to be a water fountain, but there is as of 2013 no water yet – although it is planned.

Soter Point is part of the Ventura harbor area, and Andy Soter dedicated time and funds to renovating and beautifying this area in memory of his daughter.

Samuel Povar has been actively involved in a number of public-private art collaborations in Ventura, and was instrumental in making this project possible.

The mermaid statue at Soter Point is rapidly becoming a major attraction for tourists and also gaining fame as an example of public-private collaboration in beautifying a city.

The plaque at the base of the sculpture reads:

The Mermaid of Soter Point
A Public and Private Collaboration

This stunning landmark overlooking the Ventura Harbor
represents a trailblazing cooperative effort to beautify our
community through private citizens working with public agencies.
Andy Soter developed and landscaped the area in memory of his
daughter Andrea, a successful and much admired investment
manager. The mermaid sculpture and its foundation were donated
by Russian emigrants Alec and Tatyana Benke, as an expression of
love for their new country, America. Samuel Povar created the first
collaboration of this nature in 2007 as a tribute to his late wife
Orianna and worked tirelessly to make this Marina Park project
a reality. And, the Ventura City Council and the Coastal Commission
gave their enthusiastic blessing. Now Povar, Soter, and Benke,
all Ventura residents, hope to inspire others to use private capital
along with public cooperation and support…to envision
something beautiful and make it happen.

I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin’s back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song;
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid’s music.
                    – William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Mermaid of Soter Point

The Russian Mermaid of Soter Point in Ventura, CA. Notice the detail by the eye. Photo by Sunny Oberto.

Mermaid of Soter Point

The Russian Mermaid of Soter Point in Ventura, CA. Photo by Sunny Oberto.

Many thanks to Samuel Povar for details on this project, and to Sunny Oberto for many stunning photos.

See more photos at the Soter Point Mermaid page.

The Little Mermaid Centennial Commemorative 2014 Calendar

By |August 4th, 2013|

The Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen is 100 years old in August 23, 2013.

There will be traditional celebrations of her birthday on August 23rd in the afternoon and evening.  My wife and I are attending, and we would love to see you there as well, if possible.

Also, the Centennial Commemorative calendar is now printed and available.

The Little Mermaid Centennial Calendar

The Little Mermaid Centennial Calendar

The calendars are printed on 13 sheets card stock, 8.5 x 11 inches, with spiral wire binding.

It has spectacular photos of the original Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen and 12 other copies of this statue all over the world, in locations such as Romania, China, Denmark, the United States, the Virgin Islands, Brazil and Spain.

Here are photos of the back and of the July page opened up.

Back Cover The Little Mermaid Centennial Wall Calendar

Back Cover The Little Mermaid Centennial Wall Calendar