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Foreigners warm to master architect Alvar Aalto

Some two thirds of guests visiting the Alvar Aalto museum, celebrating the work of one the most influential architects of the 20th century, are from abroad. Cultural data from Statistics Finland shows what kind of cultural sites in Finland foreign tourists favoured in 2012.

Alvar Aallon tuoleja museossa.
Chairs designed by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto at his Jyväskylä museum. Image: Yle

Foreign tourists accounted for most visits to the Alvar Aalto museum in 2012. The museum is made up of exhibits in Helsinki and the central Finnish town of Jyväskylä. The architect’s atelier is, for instance, located in Helsinki, while Jyväskylä houses a large museum collection of Aalto’s work. Aalto himself, whose perhaps best-known building is the Finlandia Hall, was from the central part of the country.

The Aalto museum seems to have a particularly strong draw on foreigners compared to many other cultural sites; alternatively, it could also be seen as being unusually unappealing to Finnish crowds.

By comparison, only 15 percent of guests to the National Museum of Finland were from abroad.

The biggest crowd-magnet for the period was the Suomenlinna fortress island just outside Helsinki, which was visited by some 760,000 tourists. Out of these, 40 percent were foreigners.

According to Statistics Finland, foreigners are particularly interested in churches, ships and castles in Finland.

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