Jean Sibelius Monument

This part was added after a public reaction to the original monument design as an abstract piece forced the committee to include this more realistic piece. It shows a young version of Sibelius from around 1910.

This part was added after a public reaction to the original monument design as an abstract piece forced the committee to include this more realistic piece. It shows a young version of Sibelius from around 1910.

 The Sibelius Monument is located in the Töölö part of Helsinki, it is beautifully situated in a woodsy part next to a small boat harbor in a small lagoon. It was unveiled on September 7 1967 in the presence of, among others, then President of the Finnish Republic Urho Kekkonen. The monument came to be after a competition held by the Sibelius Society after the death of Jean Sibelius in 1957 and a a fundraising campaign in 1961-62. The competition caused much debate among the public and they were more or less divided into two camps – One wanted a realistic monument and the other wanted a more abstract piece.

Eila Hiltunen was one sculptor to submit an abstract piece called “Passio Musicae” which consisted of hundreds of tubes resembling organ tubes. It is interesting to note that Sibelius never composed any music for the organ. Hiltunen was invited to the second round of the competition as an “extra entry” together with five other entries. Her entry was  the most abstract of the entries.

Eila Hiltunen was eventually chosen and commissioned by the committee to sculpt the monument. As a result of the divided public and the outcry from the more conformist ones the addition of a realistic sculpture of Sibelius head was added to the installation.

Female Finnish sculptor Eila Hiltunen's original winning submission the the competition for designing the monument to Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) National Finnish composer during the romantic period.

Female Finnish sculptor Eila Hiltunen’s original winning submission the the competition for designing the monument to Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) National Finnish composer during the romantic period.

A different angle of the monument to composer Jean Sibelius.

A different angle of the monument to composer Jean Sibelius.