Havis Amanda has been through a lot
Completed in 1908, the fountain and its bronze sculptures form a work of art designed by the artist Ville Vallgren. In addition to its artistic value, the work has a special cultural-historical and cityscape significance.
The bronze statue has been through a lot over the years, e.g. during various national celebrations that have made people climb on top of it. The salty and windy sea climate has also worn away the surface of the sculpture.
“Havis Amanda has had small maintenance procedures done regularly, but this is our first opportunity to do thorough restoration and conservation procedures. The goals of the project are to correct the slope of the sculpture and to strengthen the structure of the pedestal of the female figure,” commented the Public Art Conservator. Polina Semenova From the Helsinki Art Museum.
Cracks and holes in the bronze are repaired and patinated. The conservator also performs comprehensive surface conservation for the bronze parts.
The square will also be renovated
The renovation project includes renovating the statue’s water basin and foundations. The depressions in the surface of the square will be repaired and the traditional pavement will be restored at the end of the project. The technology of the fountain and the related pipelines will also be renewed. Excavations are carried out under the supervision of an archaeologist due to the possibility of finding ancient remains.
After May Day, the square will be fenced off as a work site. The construction of the square is expected to continue until August 2024. The duration of the repair depends on whether the work has to be interrupted due to archaeological excavations and what kind of structures are found underground.
A permanent lifting place will be built on the square for the lifting equipment used for the capping ceremony and maintenance work.
May Day will be celebrated this spring in the usual way
The female figure and the sea lions at the edge of the fountain will be removed and moved for conservation at the beginning of May. May Day will be celebrated and the statue will be varnished as usual this spring. The situation for Vapu 2024 is still uncertain, as the renovation of the square may continue until the summer of 2024.
Havis Amanda is part of the art collection of the city of Helsinki, managed by the HAM Helsinki art museum. The Urban Environment Department is responsible for the technical maintenance of the works, including water systems.
Source: City of Helsinki
Source: The Nordic Page