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Pekka Kauhanen: Talvisodan kansallinen muistomerkki, 2017. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: HAM Helsinki Art Museum / Maija Toivanen

National Memorial to the Winter War

© Visual Artists Association Kuvasto

, Kasarmitori

Sculptor Pekka Kauhanen (b. 1954) has designed many public works of art for various sites in Finland. Open to many interpretations, his works are all highly accessible and often also humorous. According to Kauhanen, he uses a Lego-style method to create the sculptures, assembling them of components made of different materials that are then cast in bronze, aluminium or stainless steel.

Discussion about a national memorial for the Winter War in Helsinki began back in the early 2000s. The Winter War Association was founded in 2009 to promote the project. The project was launched with an open international art competition in 2013, for which a total of 258 entries were submitted.

The two-stage competition was won by Pekka Kauhanen’s entry He Who Brings the Light. The foundation stone for the memorial was laid on 13 March 2015, which marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the war. The finished work was unveiled at Kasarmitori square on 30 November 2017.

The memorial is made of stainless steel, and its base contains 105 photographs of the Winter War. The pictures shed light on the background of the war, the events of the war, the home front, international aid, women’s roles, and the end of the war. The pictures focus on the contributions and fate of individual men and women.

The memorial is part of the collection of public art maintained by HAM.

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