In a celebratory spirit, Finland marks its 100th anniversary as an independent nation on the 1st of June. Norway’s gift is a sculpture, and a payment toward the Norwegian-Finnish Cultural Fund.
‘We congratulate our Finnish friends and neighbours on their great anniversary,’ said Foreign Minister, Børge Brende.
The motto for the anniversary is ‘Together’, something with which Norway is in glad agreement, emphasized Brende. He emphasised our good, neighbourly relationship, and Nordic, Arctic, European, and global cooperation.
The King was happy to speak
For the occasion of the anniversary, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have granted 750,000 for a Norwegian sculpture, to be displayed at Hanaholmen Cultural Center outside of Helsinki, at an outdoor, Nordic sculpture park with a theme of ‘seasons’.
Finnish president, Sauli Niinistö, and spokeswoman, Jenni Haukio, are hosting the celebrations, which begin on Thursday morning. King Harald and Queen Sonja will represent Norway, sailing to Helsinki in the royal ship, Norge.
The Swedish, and Danish royal families, and Icelandic president, will also be present on a day beginning at the Presidential Palace. The Presidential representatives, and Royal families, will greet the audience from the balcony.
King Harald will give a speech on behalf of Norway during lunch at the town hall. The celebrations will continue at Hanaholmen, where the newly renovated sculpture park will be reopened.
Strengthening cultural cooperation
The Norwegian sculpture has not yet been completed, but is expected to be in place during 2018.
The Ministry of Culture decided to strengthen Norway’s participation in the Norwegian-Finnish Cultural Fund by giving two million kroner toward the gift.
‘The strengthening signals that we want even greater cooperation with Finland, especially in language and culture,’ said Culture Minister, Linda Hofstad Helleland (H).
Sweden also gave their neighbour a sculpture for Hanaholmen. Additionally, Sweden will finance a two-year research project on forestry, and bioenergy.
The day will end with an anniversary dinner at the Presidential Palace.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today