HC Andersen’s grave vandalised

The headstone of renowned Danish poet desecrated with silver inked graffiti

The headstone of Denmark’s most renowned literary figure, Hans Christian Andersen, was vandalised on Saturday night by an unknown person.

The grave, which is located at Assistens Cemetery in Nørrebro, was desecrated with graffiti written in silver inksaid Copenhagen Police.

“We got a call at around 20:40 from a passerby who had noticed graffiti on the gravestone. We have since noted that it says “Fuck Denmark” along with the number “69!” written on the stone,” Copenhagen Police’s head of security Henrik Brix told TV2.

The number “69” most probably relates to the nearby Jagtvej 69, the address of the former Ungdomshuset, a youth house that was the source of a prolonged conflict between the authorities and the left-wing groups who used the premises. It was eventually torn down in 2007 after a lengthy eviction struggle.

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No suspects as yet
The police are yet to unearth any suspects.

“We are taking this very seriously. We have taken pictures and ordered for the stone to be cleaned, but in the meantime we hope witnesses who saw or heard something can lead us to the perpetrator,” said Brix.

“Right now we have a few clues. We have a sole print, but this is a very popular place, so it will be difficult to use this as evidence. We hope to find the silver marker used and have been searching rubbish bins in the area,” continued Brix.

Police have not received reports that other graves at Assistens Cemetery have been vandalised.

Two incidents not linked
The incident came to police attention less than 24 hours after 50 gravestones were vandalised at the Muslim Cemetery in Brøndby. However police assert they are yet to find a link between the two acts.

According to Kim Madsen from Copenhagen West Regional Police, police are investigating the Brøndby case as an act of pure vandalism, rather than an action directed against the Muslim community in Denmark.

“We do not know if the motive is revenge. It seems strange that the two acts have happened in such close proximity to one another. However, the only link we have established so far is that there are two desecrated cemeteries,” said Brix.

Widespread outrage
Konservative politician Lars Barfoed is incensed by the vulgar nature of the vandalism.

“When someone desecrates a grave, it is an affront to the survivors,” he said according to DR

“This target is a renowned poet who Danes know and love. It is hardly a coincidence – it is a very serious provocation.”