26 May 2015: Malmi Airport selected as the most endangered cultural heritage site in Finland

Seppo SipiläNews archive

Photo: Tuomas Kuosmanen

Europa Nostra Finland has selected Helsinki-Malmi Airport as the most endangered cultural heritage site in Finland. The airport will be proposed to the Seven Most Endangered Cultural Heritage Sites programme of the cultural heritage organization Europa Nostra and the European Investment Bank Institute. The programme mobilizes public and private partners on a local, national and European level to find a sustainable and viable future for the seven chosen sites.

“As a complete milieu, Malmi Airport is one of the best-preserved pre-WW2 international airports in the world. It is also the hub of general aviation in Finland and the only free-schedule international airport within a 150 km radius of the capital. The cultural milieu is threatened by City of Helsinki’s plan to build a residential area of 25.000 people in the next decade”, says Friends of Malmi Airport (FoMA), the non-governmental organization that proposed the site.

The Board of Europa Nostra Finland finds that Malmi Airport is a cultural heritage site of international significance, and a unique monument of modernist architecture in the world. It is living cultural heritage like e.g. Old Rauma, and should remain in aviation use.

Earlier in spring, Europa Nostra Finland announced the search for Finland’s most endangered cultural heritage site. Eleven applications were received in all. “All proposals were good and well argumented especially on local level, some even on international scale”, says Chairman of Europa Nostra Finland, Mr. Tapani Mustonen. “We decided to write a statement in support of every site. We hope that this will help the local people and the authorities to realize the value of these sites and to take action to improve their situation”, Mr. Mustonen adds.

Europa Nostra Finland is the national branch of the cultural heritage organization Europa Nostra and the voice of Finnish cultural heritage organizations in Europe. Europa Nostra is a non-governmental organization active in 42 countries and cooperating closely with the European Union, the European Council and Unesco. The organization has been given, among other things, the task of presenting the EU’s annual cultural heritage awards in connection with its own awards programme.

Press release (in Finnish) and photos at Finnish Local Heritage Federation’s website »