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Parliament's 300 million-euro facelift reveal unveils… another cover-up

Taxpayers keen to see what wonders 300 million euros worth of renovation would work on the Parliament building were in for some disappointment on Monday. An operation to peel off an outer decorative tarpaulin concealing the two-year restoration revealed...yet another protective layer.

When it was announced that building contractors would begin stripping off the protective tarpaulin replicating the façade of the Finnish Parliament, many taxpayers were eager to see what they would be getting for over 300 million euros of reconstruction work.

However the big reveal on Monday uncovered – another protective layer concealing the building.

It wasn’t exactly the dramatic sight that many expected. It turned out to be something of a disappointment for observers, apart from people with a taste for obscure hobbies such as watching paint dry.

The operation, which began at 3.00pm, required the largest crane in the country and a small crew to painstakingly remove the mega-tarpaulin, strip by strip.

Project costs triple

Darkness was already falling by the time the workers finished the task to reveal another protective layer that continued to hide the building from view.

The refurbishment project originally began back in 2010 with renovation work on ancillary buildings. Work on the actual Parliament building in which lawmakers hold their sittings started in 2015 and MPs have been convening their sittings in a converted concert hall of the nearby Sibelius Academy building.

According to media reports, the original cost of the project, estimated back in 2007, was 100 million euros. Since then, it has almost tripled to over 270 million euros. When other expenses apart from the actual building costs are included, the price tag is expected to top 300 million.

The years-long project is expected to wrap up this autumn, in time for MPs to observe Finland’s independence centennial in the new and improved chamber in December.

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