One of Finland's famous people is Jean Sibelius who died in 1957 at the advanced age of 91 years. Soon after that, it was decided that the composer deserved to be commemorated with a monument, and a competition was organized to invited artists to submit designs. After years of not only examining the proposed works of art, but also public debate about the extraordinary design by Eila Hiltunen, it was decided that she should be given the project. Eventually, this would lead to the Sibelius Monument, that now has become one of the top attractions of the Finnish capital.
Before she could go ahead, she had to add a figurative element to the abstract monument as a compromise with all those who were opposed to her initial proposal. This now is all far behind us and the monument has gained an important spot in many tourists' itineraries on visits to the Finnish capital. Approaching from the seaside, the monument appears from behind the trees of the park it stands in. It is a collection of some 600 stainless steel tubes wielded together and elaborated by the artist. During the four years of welding and constructing the monument, the artist developed chronic bronchial asthma because of exposition to toxic fumes.
Despite continuing opposition against her work, the artist persevered and finished the monument after four years. It was finally unveiled almost exactly 10 years after the death of Sibelius. It developed into an attraction for many visitors, not just because of its particular shape, but also because it is possible to touch it, to see the monument from close up, and some people even stick their heads into the lower tubes. It is said that the monument reflects the seasons pass, it reflects changing lights, and this is what makes the monument come alive for the eyes of the visitor.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Sibelius Monument (Finland). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Sibelius Monument. Read more about this site.