This year marks the 150th anniversary since the birth of Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948), leader of India’s freedom struggle, who stood for values such as non-violence and peaceful coexistence. To honour the anniversary, the Government of India has presented a life-size statue portraying Mahatma Gandhi to the Government of Finland. The statue, which is located in Allotria Park (Allotrianpuisto), was unveiled on Friday 20 September.
The statue was unveiled by Dr. S. Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs, Mr Pekka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and Ms Pia Pakarinen, Deputy Mayor of the City of Helsinki.
The statue has been designed and made by the Indian sculptor Gautam Pal, whose numerous statues and busts of Mahatma Gandhi and other important figures of Indian history can be found in cities all over the world. The bronze statue is 185 cm tall and stands on a pedestal made of Finnish ‘Baltic Brown’ granite.
The statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Allotria Park was unveiled by Dr. S. Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs, Mr Pekka Haavisto, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and Ms Pia Pakarinen, Deputy Mayor of the City of Helsinki.
Allotria Park is located by Hämeentie street. The park has its name from a cinema called Allotria that operated across the street in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Trees such as elm, lime and maple grow in the park. A special feature of this park are the impressive bare cliffs that comprise a wall and reach up to a few meters at their highest point. In the park, there is a flat lawn where it is possible to practice yoga. In the near future, a few benches will be added to the park, something that the locals have asked for.