Photo by Tomi Valo


The piece of art placed at the customs office in Kilpisjärvi is introduced to the public today. The work was selected through a competition arranged by the State Art Commission in cooperation with Finnish Customs, Senate Properties, and the Lapland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. The work by Anssi Pulkkinen and Nestori Syrjälä entitled “Ylösalasylösalas” is built from road railings, and is an excellent reflection of border territory thematic.

The publication event will be opened by Marjut Muotkajärvi, head of the Kilpijärvi customs office.

“It is really wonderful that Kilpijärvi was chosen as the place for displaying this work of art. It is a suitable element for our new customs office where we have worked for the past four years”, says Ms Muotkajärvi.

The work that reaches a height of up to thirteen metres is built from a road railing. The wave-like shape of the work and the choice of material symbolise the Kilpisjärvi fell landscape, as well as the seamless traffic between two countries.

“The work incorporates the innovative use of a road railing, a familiar element especially for those whose work involves goods traffic. A great deal of heavy vehicles pass through Kilpisjärvi, and passenger car traffic is busy in the summertime. Traditionally, the traffic from Kilpisjärvi to Norway has been very unrestricted, which is why the work of art is a good symbol of the ease of traffic”, says Ms Muotkajärvi.

Kilpisjärvi is the most active border crossing point on the Finland-Norway border. Finnish and Norwegian customs authorities have cooperated closely ever since the 1950s. In the 1970s, Norwegian and Finnish customs authorities started sharing the same work facilities. In Kilpisjärvi, the emphasis of customs work is on customs clearance involving commercial traffic. In that context, seamless border crossings facilitate foreign trade.

This summer, it is likely that numbers of border crossings will not yet return to the normal level. However, Kilpisjärvi is a delightful destination for domestic travellers.

“It is worth it to come and have look at our work of art even from further off!”, a tip from Ms Muotkajärvi for people making plans for their summer holidays.

Source: Finnish Customs