The entire fountain dates back to 1908, Source: Depositphotos

Helsinki to place fence around iconic statue to protect it

Helsinki to place fence around iconic statue to protect it

With this move, it might become the first European capital to do something so drastic to protect its heritage from vandalism

The Havis Amanda fountain is one of the iconic sites in Helsinki. Placed in 1908, it features a nude bronze female figure surrounded by seals spraying water from their mouths. The entire ensemble, however, was removed in May in order to repair the statues due to damage suffered from actions of celebrating sports fans.

Similar to the Cibeles fountain in Madrid, Helsinki sports fans gather to celebrate victories at the fountain. However, the revelry often goes out of control and people start climbing on the statue, which is how it got damaged. In addition, it is also the site of traditional May Day university festivities when students place a white cap on the girl’s head.

The fountain is set to return to its full glory sometime next summer, however, this time the authorities are also planning to begin fencing it off with a metal cage during festive occasions. The cage will be cylindrical in shape, and it will be easy to place with a crane. That decision though has generated

Its own type of controversy

The proposed design has been considered too large by some residents, even though it would only protect the female statue and will not cut off the entire fountain with the seals.

Yet other residents found a problem with the fact that it will be an open-top cylinder, which will make it easy to climb and thus, even easier to reach the statue, meaning that the intended protection might backfire in its purpose.

In response, Reetta Putkonen, the city's transportation planning division chief, explained that such considerations will be taken into account before deciding on the final design of the fence. What’s sure, though, is that the authorities would like to make something about limiting access to the site and reminding revellers that they need to respect the city’s heritage.



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