Saving Amanda: Helsinki considers how to protect the famous fountain

The statue, built in 1906, is subject to structural stresses and strains when jubilant sports fans use it as the focal point for their celebrations.

File picture of sports fans celebrating at Havis Amanda fountain and statue, Helsinki, November 2020 / Credit: News Now Finland

Helsinki City Council is looking into measures to protect one of the country’s most recognisable landmarks.

The Havis Amanda fountain and statue, built in the Market Square in 1906, has become a popular place to celebrate sporting success, with revelers regularly climbing on top, singing and dancing.

Experts have warned that the statue wasn’t designed for this sort of use, and might not be able to handle the structural stress any longer.

The last time Havis Amanda was put to the test was November 2019, when the Finnish men’s football team qualified for the Euro 2020 championships, thousands of people congregated at the fountain, and dozens climbed on her.

Local Councilor Fatim Diarra (Green) has tabled an initiative to try and save Amanda.

Diarra suggests either relocating the statue, or somehow reinforcing it to withstand the stresses and strains of jubilant sports fans.

“We have two options for this. First option, that I proposed in an amendment, is that the statue should be replaced with a replica, as has been done in many cities in Europe because Manta” – the affectionate local name for the statute – “is such an important piece of art; or during these big celebrations we should cover her with some kind of protective structure” she tells News Now Finland.

“My perspective here is that we really need to find a solution how we’re going to resolve this and that’s basically the reason why I made the proposal in city council in the first place” Diarra explains.

Before the issue comes before the City Council for a final decision, the issue will be studied in more detail in committees first.