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Grave memorial for former President Koivisto to be unveiled on Sunday 25 November

Government Communications Department
Publication date 12.11.2018 15.40 | Published in English on 12.11.2018 at 16.22
Press release 526/2018

The grave memorial for former President of the Republic of Finland Mauno Koivisto will be unveiled at the Hietaniemi Cemetery in Helsinki on Sunday 25 November at 12 noon. The memorial was designed by artist and photographer Perttu Saksa. The memorial will be unveiled on the anniversary of the birth of former President Koivisto.

The event will be attended by former President Koivisto’s family members, President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö and Mrs Jenni Haukio, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and representatives from the Government and Parliament, among others.

The unveiling event will begin with Jean Sibelius’ Isänmaalle [To the Fatherland], performed by the Guards Band, followed by a speech by Prime Minister Sipilä. President Niinistö will deliver the unveiling remarks, and Bishop Eero Huovinen will read a prayer. The YL Male Voice Choir will perform Suomen laulu [Song of Finland] by Fredrik Pacius. The attendees will join in singing Hymn 548, Tule kanssani, Herra Jeesus [Come With Me, Lord Jesus], followed by Finlandia Hymn by Jean Sibelius, to close the event.

The Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE will broadcast the event live on Yle TV1 and Areena starting at 11.50 a.m.

Mauno Henrik Koivisto was President of the Republic of Finland for 12 years; from 1982 to 1994. He was Finland’s ninth President. Koivisto’s State funeral was held on 25 May 2017.

At the start of January 2018, the Prime Minister’s Office announced a competition for the design of a grave memorial for former President Koivisto. A total of 138 proposals were received by the closing date. The winner of the competition was announced in April 2018.

The judging committee described the winning entry, ‘Kartta’ by artist and photographer Perttu Saksa, as follows:

‘This entry consists of pieces held together by gilding. It is a magnificent ensemble. While the proposal can be seen to meld with ceramics, emphasising humility and dignity or fragmented world politics, the design is first and foremost an independent, multivocal tribute to unity. Erosion has ground down the stone into separate pieces, while the reconstructed arrangement is not only more humane but also much more than the original perfection. The size and dimensions of the proposal are positioned with style on the grave site, and its dual and natural shape, with plasticity, circumvents excessive simplicity.’

Kartta’ by artist and photographer Perttu Saksa

More information about artist and photographer Perttu Saksa and the memorial design competition

Inquiries: Timo Lankinen, Permanent State Under-Secretary, tel. +358 295 160 300 and Sanna Helopuro, Senior Adviser for Legislative Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 170, Prime Minister’s Office