A famous statue in New Orleans has gone missing after Hurricane Ida. The life-size, bronze statue of a young woman named “Michelle” who is also known as “The Mermaid”  who sat on the edge of a fountain near Decatur Street is no longer there.

Richard Campanella, a Tulane professor, and prolific author was the first person to realize that Michelle was missing. A few days after Hurricane Ida hit the city, Campanella and his family took a stroll through the French Quarter. Once they reached Decatur Street his young son, Jason, exclaimed “where did the lady go?” The fountain was still there but Michelle was gone. It didn't look like she was removed violently but she was definitely not where she should have been.

So Campanella took to Twitter to ask the question, “Anyone know what happened to the statue of the young woman that used to be sitting at this fountain?” Well, social media did not disappoint with speculation about what may have happened to the statue.

Several people responded with ideas of what could have happened to the statue.

Campanella seemed pretty intrigued with the whole mystery saying, “This could become part of the folklore, that she just got up and walked away.”

If a statute could just get up and walk away then that would certainly take place in New Orleans.

Michelle took her seat at the fountain in 1984 for the Louisiana World Exposition and has been there ever since. The creator Paul Perret Jr is no stranger to his works of art going missing. He created a smaller sculpture of a tray of coffee and beignets that was placed near Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter. The sculpture was stolen right after it was placed there, replaced, and then stolen again. But it brought up the question, what would someone do with a statue as large as Michelle?

Well, the mystery has now been solved and nothing too terrible happened to Michelle. It turns out that Michelle was vandalized. Someone painted her eyes and neck so the city removed her a few weeks before Hurricane Ida so that they could restore her.

 

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