In Hämeenlinna, the town where Jean Sibelius was born, the regional water company (HS-vesi) wanted to join in with the Sibelius 150 communal effort and, literally speaking, ‘leave their mark on the ground’. They had to renew about 150 of the Hämeenlinna town centre’s drain covers, and suggested that instead of the ‘usual’ ornaments, why not have the iron covers cast with something related to 2015? A different silvery grey metal alloy was also chosen that acquires an interesting patina in the long term, instead of regular iron that eventually rusts away. The life expectancy of the covers should take the city up to the 200th Sibelius anniversary festivities!
The approach was a combination of genuine appreciation and tongue-in-cheek humour.
The covers are designed by Markku Piri, who writes: ‘I did a simple editing of the visual symbol for this Sibelius year, of the stylized passion flower emblem with the outward flying swan [Hämeenlinna is the only region in Finland where the passion flower thrives in the wild]. So, when folks now walk about Hämeenlinna and look up, they’ll see hundreds of timely flags, and when they look down, they cannot escape the 150-year Sibelius mark either!’
Source: Markku Piri