You will find this sculpture from 1906, the Havis Amanda mermaid statue by Carl Wilhelm ‘Ville’ Vallgren, in Market Square in the southern part of Helsinki, Finland.
The sculpture was named Merenneito (Mermaid) by the sculptor. He sculpted the bronze mermaid statue while living in Paris in 1906. A young Parisian named Marcelle Delquini was the model for the statue.
There was much criticism of the sculpture initially because of the nudity, but over time Havis Amanda has become immensely popular. Many in Finland today consider her an icon of the city, and its most beautiful and important piece of art.
The central part of the fountain is granite, with four sea lions and the mermaid rising out of the sea. She stands on a pedestal of seaweed with four fish at her feet.
There is an annual university student celebration which traditionally includes students gathering in the square around the mermaid fountain. While they are there, they place a student cap atop the mermaid’s head.
Helsinki in 1904 started to break free from Russian domination, with the assassination of the Russian Governor-General of Finland. Sculptor Ville Vallgren intended the Havis Amanda mermaid statue to symbolize the rebirth of Helsinki.
You will find more information and more photos at the Havis Amanda Page.
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