The iconic landmark of Helsinki Havis Amanda fountain, or Manta as it’s known colloquially, was transferred to conservation yesterday 3rd of May as part of the renovation of the fountain area and its surroundings. The sculpture has been a central part of Helsinki cityscape since its unveiling in 1908 and an integral part of any celebration in Helsinki, May Days and Ice Hockey Championships included. The sculpture has, unfortunately, suffered some damage from both the revellers climbing on top of it during parties as well as the usual Helsinki weather eroding the statue. The transfer to conservation is an important step in the preservation of this culturohistorically important piece of Finnish art and will be the first time major conservation procedures on the statue will take place.
For the transfer, the sculpture was dismantled into three pieces, each weighing an estimated 500 kgs. The transfer required careful planning and expertise by fine art handlers, and an elaborate lifting and transfer plan was made together with Helsinki Art Museum HAM and Mäntylä E&E ahead of the transfer. On top of carefully protecting and fastening the fragile sculpture, one fine art handler had to crawl inside the sculpture through a small hole to take apart the bolts keeping the pieces together before the actual lifting operation could take place. The whole project was successfully completed in a day and the Havis Amanda sculpture was safely transferred to Helsinki Art Museum’s conservation centre.
The renovation work is due to last until August 2024 but the schedule is pending on the archeological digs that will be done in the fountain area.
Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) is located in Tennis Palace, right next to Kamppi shopping centre. Helsink Art Museum oversees Helsinki’s own art collection which also includes the city’s public artworks, Havis Amanda included. The museum focuses on modern and contemporary art. www.hamhelsinki.fi
Beweship is an independent Finnish freight forwarding and logistics company. Beweship offers services in international air, sea, road and rail transports, customs clearances, fine art logistics, project logistics and removals.
Photographs by Fotoservice Roland Öster, copyright Beweship.