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Helsinki to rethink Havis Amanda fence design

Some residents said the proposed structure was too large, while others suggested it would be too easy to climb.

A photo rendering of the planned steel fence that will be used to protect the Havis Amanda statue.
A photo rendering of the fence proposed by engineering firm WSP. Image: Aaro Sariola / WSP
Yle News

Officials in Helsinki are again considering ways to protect the city's iconic Havis Amanda statue from damage caused by people climbing upon it as they celebrate things like major sports victories.

The statue is perhaps the Finnish capital's best-known and best-loved work of art. However, damage caused by late-night revellers who repeatedly climbed on the statue prompted the city to restore it.

Once she returns, likely next summer, the city wants to ensure that people stay off Havis Amanda entirely.

Earlier this month, the city announced it would protect the statue with a round steel fence during times of mass celebrations.

However, there was a good amount of dissatisfaction with the structure's design, according to the city's transportation planning division chief, Reetta Putkonen, who added that the matter needs more consideration.

"The solution could be something that has already been designed, or it could be something [new]," Putkonen explained.

A large number of Helsinki residents reached out to the city with concerns about the plans, with some saying the proposed fence was too large, for example, Putkonen explained.

A criticism Yle heard from people walking by the statue's home in downtown Helsinki was that the proposed structure with its open top could be climbed, offering easy access.

Putkonen said that this issue is being taken into consideration.

"We are rethinking it in terms of safety, usability and the cityscape in general," she said.

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