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Funeral service for former Finnish president Mauno Koivisto at Helsinki Cathedral and burial in Hietaniemi Cemetery

Government Communications Department 17.5.2017 14.59 | Published in English on 17.5.2017 at 16.37
Press release 243/2017
Funeral service for former Finnish president Mauno Koivisto at Helsinki Cathedral and burial in Hietaniemi Cemetery

The funeral service for former President of the Republic Mauno Koivisto will be held at 13.00 on Thursday 25 May at Helsinki Cathedral. The service will be conducted by Bishop Eero Huovinen. On Wednesday 17 May, the Government made a decision to hold a state funeral for Mauno Koivisto.

Mauno Koivisto will be laid to rest at Hietaniemi Cemetery with full military honours in the same location where the gravestones of former presidents Urho Kekkonen and Risto Ryti are located. Members of the public will be able to watch the cortege, which will proceed as a motorcade via the Government Palace, the Bank of Finland and the Presidential Palace to Hietaniemi Cemetery. After the funeral service, a memorial ceremony for invited guests will take place at the House of the Estates.

YLE channel 1 of the Finnish Broadcasting Company will broadcast the funeral live on TV as will YLE Areena, its online service, and there will be a radio transmission on Radio Suomi.

Mauno Henrik Koivisto died on Friday 12 May in Helsinki at the age of 93. He was President of the Republic of Finland from 1982 to 1994. He was the ninth President of the Republic of Finland.

Koivisto was born on 25 November 1923 in Turku. As a young man he worked at a dockyard and was a primary school teacher, among other things.  He studied while working and eventually completed a doctoral degree. 

Over his long career in government, Koivisto served as prime minister between 1968 and 1970 as well as between 1979 and 1982, and as minister of finance between 1966 and 1967 and in 1972. He was Governor of the Bank of Finland (Chairman of the Board) between 1968 and 1982, and worked in executive duties at the National Workers' Savings Bank of Finland between 1958 and 1967. He also held a long list of positions of trust and honorary memberships.

Koivisto was also the last living former president in Finland who had experienced war first-hand. He served on the battlefield during the Continuation War.

Committee for funeral preparations headed by Foreign Minister Soini

The Government set up a committee for the funeral preparations on Wednesday. Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini is chairing the committee and the vice-chair is Paula Lehtomäki, State Secretary.

The committee members are: Teemu Tanner and Petri Toivonen from the Office of the President of the Republic; Timo Lankinen and Päivi Paasikoski from the Prime Minister's Office; Matti Heimonen and Jouni Mölsä from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Petri Oittinen from Helsinki Cathedral parish; Lasse Aapio from Helsinki Police; Kim Mattsson and Ahti Kurvinen from the Defence Forces; Mika Pösö from the Bank of Finland; and Heikki Allonen, who is representing the immediate family of the deceased. Sanna Helopuro from the Prime Minister’s Office serves as secretary.

A press conference will be held on the funeral arrangements on Monday 22 May.

Flags at half mast on 25 May

The Prime Minister’s Office recommends that flags be flown at half mast throughout the country on 25 May, the day of the funeral. Details of the flag-flying arrangements in connection with the state funeral will be issued on Monday 22 May.

Tributes

On Tuesday 16 May the book of condolence for Mauno Koivisto was opened at the Presidential Palace and it will close on Friday 19 May. The public can access the book of condolence for signing via the Mariankatu 2 entrance (glass doors) at the following times: Wednesday 17 May 10.00–15.00, Thursday 18 May 10.00–18.00 and Friday 19 May 10.00–15.00.

Condolences may also be expressed online at koivisto.presidentti.fi. This website will close on Friday at the same time as the book of condolence.

In place of floral tributes donations can be made to the following funds that support education and culture:

Kansan Sivistysrahasto (National Education Fund) (Ombudsman Ulla Vuolanne)
Account no: Nordea FI85 1521 3000 0060 09

Suomen Kulttuurirahasto (Finnish Cultural Foundation) (President Antti Arjava)
Account no: Nordea FI73 1572 3000 0114 86

Svenska Kulturfonden (Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland) (Director Leif Jakobsson)
Account no: Aktia FI46 4055 4020 0000 20

Please include "In memory of President Mauno Koivisto" in the information field.

Inquiries: Paula Lehtomäki, State Secretary, tel. +358 295 160 280, Timo Lankinen, Permanent State Under-Secretary, tel. 0295 160 300 or 040 507 4448 (general matters concerning the state funeral), and Päivi Paasikoski, Head of Communications, tel. +358 40 547 6279, Prime Minister's Office

Read more: State funeral of former President of the Republic Mauno Koivisto