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There's something fishy about this mermaid


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The Folkestone Mermaid is lowered into position at the harbour
The Folkestone Mermaid is lowered into position at the harbour

Causing waves - the Folkestone mermaid

by Tricia Jamieson

When is a mermaid not a mermaid? When she has feet rather than a tail.

A sneak preview of the Folkestone Mermaid being lowered into place at the harbour clearly shows her fish tail and feet missing.

The bronze statue by Cornelia Parker is one of the 19 pieces of art being installed around the town for the Triennial.

Georgina Baker who is the model for the Triennial mermaid statue at Sunny Sands beach in Folkestone
Georgina Baker who is the model for the Triennial mermaid statue at Sunny Sands beach in Folkestone

It was caught being lowered into position by Matt Flynn, who happened to be walking past, and has now been covered up prior to an unveiling on Friday, June 24.

Triennial spokesman Peter Bettley said they always knew the mermaid would have feet.

"It is artistic licence and is Cornelia's interpretation of the Copenhagen mermaid," he said.

"It is her take on a mermaid - artists tend not to work very literally.

"The only similarities with Copenhagen are the pose and that it sits on rocks.

"Cornelia did not want it to be the same but a life figure."

The model for the mermaid was mum-of-two Georgina Baker, 38, of Meadowbrook, Folkestone, who was picked from a number of nominations.

She had a cast taken of her naked body, which Miss Parker worked from.

Mr Bettley said he hoped the statue would stay after the Triennial ends on September 25.

"A decision will be made later in the summer," he said. "It is one we would like to keep."

" i think it will be a good addition to folkestone." – matt flynn

Mr Flynn said he was impressed by the piece.

"I think it will be a good addition to Folkestone and will look nice after a few years when it has weathered," he said.

"She is supposed to be a mermaid but it does not bother me that she has feet."

Miss Parker was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997, is a Royal Academician and was made an OBE last year.

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