Consisting of 24 tons of steel pipe that runs over 27 feet high, Helsinki’s Sibelius Monument is easy to spot among the trees of Sibelius Park. Unveiled a decade after the death of world-famous composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957), the sculpture’s abstract qualities weren’t exactly praised by the Finnish public when it was first unveiled. To appease those who thought the monument an ill-fitting tribute to Sibelius, a large bronze bust of the composer was erected nearby.
Some say its sculptor, Eila Hiltunen, intended to mimic the pattern of soundwaves with the design. Others say the monument is meant to resemble the grand pipes of an organ, while others still imagine the pipes are like birch trees or perhaps the Northern Lights, as Sibelius was so inspired by nature. Small replicas of the monument can also be seen at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and on the grounds of the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
The easiest way to visit the Sibelius Monument is as part of a tour, because its location is quite out of the way. Otherwise, take bus 24 from the city center to Rajasaarentie. From there it’s a short 300-meter walk to the monument in the middle of Sibeliuksen Park.