The only Lenin Museum in the world will soon cease to be, Source: Lenin Museum / Facebook

Tampere will close its Lenin Museum this year

Tampere will close its Lenin Museum this year

The building will then serve as the site for a new museum dedicated to Finnish-Russian relations

The Lenin Museum in Tampere (Finland) is not just a quirky place that decided to feed off the infamous status of the father of the Soviet Union. The museum actually claims that it was in this building in 1905 that the idea for the Soviet Union was conceived as this was where Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin first met during a secret conference of the Bolsheviks.

Back then, of course, the building was not yet a museum and it was known as the Tampere Workers’ Hall. Finland itself was part of the Russian Empire before gaining its independence in 1917 following the October Revolution and the resultant turmoil, in which Lenin was a chief protagonist.

Despite this claim to fame, the Lenin Museum will cease to be on 3 November 2024.

"History did not end due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and we don’t want to remain prisoners of the past," the museum's director, Kalle Kallio, explained, as quoted by Yle news agency. "The [museum's] old name doesn't really do justice to our exhibition."

This means that if you want to visit the Lenin Museum (established in 1946) one last time before it closes, you still have some time to plan a trip. This is the only museum in the Western world dedicated to the life of V.I. Lenin.

Putting things into historical perspective

However, the good news is that the end of this institution also represents the heralding of a new one. (We’re glad that the museum employees get to keep their jobs). On 15 February 2025, in the very same building, visitors will have the pleasure of witnessing the opening of a brand-new museum called Nootti, The Museum of Finnish-Russian Relations.

The new museum will continue Finland’s commitment to understanding and contextualizing its relationship with Russia. Delving into the depths of transboundary history, it will illuminate the spectrum of interactions between the two countries, from the Soviet era to contemporary times.

As an institution committed to scholarly integrity and independence, Nootti reaffirms its stance of non-engagement with the Russian state or its representatives, in alignment with prevailing foreign policy dynamics. The goal of its management will be to present “fair history” showing a nuanced portrayal of the past by transcending state-centric narratives to celebrate the shared humanity of Finns and Russians.

It will be an institution that will strive to peek above the politics of the moment in order to help understand the complexity of relations between the Finnish and Russian people.



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