Fairy Tale Manuscripts Stolen in Denmark
Jul. 22, 1992
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) _ ''The Little Mermaid,'' ''The Emperor's New Clothes'' and two other original manuscripts by Hans Christian Andersen were stolen from a Danish museum, officials said Wednesday.
''They are priceless, unique and in principle irreplaceable. It's a national tragedy,'' said Niels Oxenvad, manager of the Andersen museum in Odense, where the writer was born.
Some of Andersen's drawings and pages from two of his travel journals also were taken. The stolen manuscripts were among the most famous of Andersen's 160 fairy tales and poems.
Oxenvad estimated the value of the stolen items at $702,000.
The overnight burglary was discovered by cleaners Wednesday morning, police said.
Poul-Erik Bentsen, deputy police commissioner for Odense, said at least two burglars climbed a roof and jumped down into the yard of the late 18th century house where Andersen is said to have been born. They drilled holes in a wooden door and removed a panel of it without setting off the alarms, police said.
''There are no infrared room sensors because the rooms in the old building are much too small,'' Oxenvad said.
The museum offered a $8,500 reward for information on the stolen papers.