vandalism, mermaid, Manta, Havis Amanda, harbour, hockey, celebration
The Havis Amanda statue in Helsinki (photo: VisitHelsinki)

Keep off naked statue, Helsinki deputy mayor says

Helsinki’s deputy mayor Nasima Razmyar has asked rowdy visitors to stop mounting the historic Havis Amanda statue in the city harbour.

Visitors and locals alike marking significant events such as Finland’s recent Ice Hockey World Cup win need to find a new way to celebrate instead of climbing all over the historic Havis Amanda statue, says Nasima Razmyar, Helsinki’s deputy mayor responsible for culture and leisure activities.

The statue features a nude female as a mermaid standing on seaweed, with four fish at her feet spouting water in the centre of a fountain surrounded by four sealions. It was erected in 1908.

Razmyar tweeted her suggestion and warned that the fragile 111-year-old statue, also known as Manta, was in danger of being damaged.

“It has been lovely to follow the festivities after the championship gold and people’s happiness. Many people have embraced Manta, but Manta is already 111 years old and very fragile. The statue, as well as the revellers, are in danger. We need to come up with another location for the next gold medal celebration,” she said.

Thousands of celebrants gathered around the statue after the Ice Hockey World Cup win on the evening of May 26, with many jumping into the surrounding fountain, while others also clambered up the mermaid created by sculptor Ville Vallgren.

Danger of damage
In Tampere, Finland’s second largest city outside of greater Helsinki, the fountain in the central square suffered from festivities on the same night when a small piece of the fountain valued at thousands of euros disappeared, Yle News reported.

Tampere Art Museum curator Aki Silvennoinen told the daily newspaper Aamulehti that the piece likely came off when hockey fans climbed to the top of the fountain.

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