The National Memorial to the Winter War will be unveiled to the public at Kasarmitori square in Helsinki on 30 November, the day the Winter War broke out. The memorial has been designed by sculptor Pekka Kauhanen. The memorial project was initiated by the Winter War Association, and President Martti Ahtisaari is the patron of the project. The monument will be unveiled as part of the celebrations for Finland’s centenary of independence and the events of the week preceding the anniversary.
The Winter War was one of the most significant turning points in Finland’s history. It played a crucial role in maintaining Finland’s independence and unifying the nation. The memorial will be unveiled to commemorate and show appreciation to our veterans and others who participated in the war efforts and suffered the consequences of war.
The unveiling ceremony is organised by the Winter War Memorial Committee set by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Ministry together with the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Command, the City of Helsinki, the Winter War Association and veterans’ organisations are represented in the Committee.
The design competition for the National Winter War Memorial was launched in February 2013. By the closing date, a total of 238 applications were submitted for the first stage of the competition. The first stage was an idea competition, in which the judging committee chose six proposals for the second stage. The contestants included architect Abel Groenewolt, sculptors Pekka Kauhanen, Olli Mantere and Anssi Pulkkinen, and architect Kai van der Puij and designer Timo Ripatti, who submitted a joint proposal.
The names of the artists selected to the second stage were published in June 2013, and Pekka Kauhanen’s proposal was chosen as the winner in the autumn of the same year. The foundation stone of the memorial was laid at Kasarmitori square on 13 March 2015, which marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the Winter War.
The memorial is funded jointly by the State of Finland, the City of Helsinki and the Winter War Association, each of them contributing one third of the total budget of about EUR 1.4 million.
The event is open to the public. The public is requested to arrive by 16.45 at the latest and be prepared for a security check.
Inquiries concerning the unveiling ceremony:
- Ilkka Kouri, Secretary of the Winter War Memorial Committee, tel. +358 40 5048 900, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Päivi Salonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 295 3 30281, email@example.com
- Nina Brander, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 2951 60347, firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about the programme of the Independence Day celebrations
A nationwide programme celebrating the Independence Day can be found on the Finland 100 anniversary website at http://suomifinland100.fi/congratulations-to-the-100-year-old-finland/?lang=en.
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