Monument to the restoration of Porkkala

2006 marked the 50th anniversary of the end of the Porkkala lease and the handover of the area back to the Finns after 11 years of Soviet leasing. The City of Espoo wanted to erect a memorial near the Kivenlahti bridge, where the national border and its gates used to stand during the lease period. Because the matter was urgent, a design competition, for example, was out of the question, and the City of Espoo commissioned me to design the monument, because the city had a framework contract with Sito Oy.

We sketched up the memorial plan together with Timo Urala. A gate of honour was used as the prototype for the memorial. The renters had erected gates of honour on the site on several occasions during the tenancy. The gates of honour were mostly dismantled immediately after the end of the rental period, because they reminded of the rental period with their Russian texts. The gate theme received support from various parties, including the Defence Forces, the Border Guard, the municipalities of Espoo and Kirkkonummi and many museums.

The memorial was unveiled in January 2006 at a ceremony opened by the Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen.