Photo: Kimmo Brandt.


After May Day, the 115-year-old sculpture loved by the people of Helsinki will be transferred to be conserved as part of renovations performed on the fountain and its surroundings.

The duration of the repairs on the fountain square will depend on potential archaeological excavations, and the preliminary estimate is that the work on the square may continue until August 2024. The schedule will be specified in the autumn of 2023.

Havis Amanda has been through a lot

Completed in 1908, the fountain and its bronze sculptures form a work of art designed by artist Ville Vallgren. In addition to its artistic value, the work holds special significance in terms of cultural history and the cityscape alike.

The bronze statue has been put through a lot over the years, e.g. during various national celebrations that have prompted people to climb onto it. The salty and windy marine climate has also worn the surface of the sculpture.

“Havis Amanda has undergone minor maintenance on a regular basis, but this is our first opportunity to carry out thorough renovation and conservation procedures. The objectives of the project include straightening the inclination of the sculpture and reinforcing the structure of the pedestal of the woman figure,” comments Public Art Conservator Polina Semenova from Helsinki Art Museum.

The cracks and holes in the bronze will be repaired and patinated. The conservator will also carry out a comprehensive surface conservation process on the bronze parts.

The square will also be repaired

The renovation project will involve restoring the water basin and foundation of the statue. The depressions on the surface of the square will be fixed, and the traditional pavement will be restored at the end of the project. The technology of the fountain and the related pipelines will also be renovated. The excavation work will be carried out under the supervision of an archaeologist due to the possibility of ancient relics being discovered.

After May Day, the square will be fenced off as a worksite. The construction contract on the square is expected to continue until August 2024. The duration of the repairs will depend on whether the work has to be suspended due to archaeological excavations and what kind of structures will be discovered underground.

A permanent lifting site will be built on the square for lifting devices used for capping ceremonies and maintenance work.

May Day will be celebrated as usual this spring

The woman figure and the sea lions on the edge of the fountain will be detached and transferred to be conserved in early May. May Day will be celebrated and the statue capped as usual this spring. The situation regarding May Day 2024 is still uncertain, as the renovations on the square may continue until the summer of 2024.

Havis Amanda is part of the City of Helsinki’s art collection administrated by HAM Helsinki Art Museum. Technical maintenance of the work, including the water systems, is carried out by the Urban Environment Division.


Source: City of Helsinki