Kaunis Veera statue

Sculptor Markku Hirvelä from Kotka created the figure of the statue based on the story of the song by Tatu Pekkarinen that inspired the 1950 film “Kaunis Veera eli Ballaadi Saimaalta” (Beautiful Veera, or a Ballad from Lake Saimaa) directed by Ville Salminen. The sculpture was commissioned by Ossi Vilhu, a businessman from Lappeenranta, and the city accepted the donation at an unveiling ceremony on 7 August 2020 at the story’s birthplace on the shore of Lake Saimaa, on the lime tree alleyway leading to Lappeenranta Harbour.

The life-size statue has been executed using the traditional bronze casting technique. The statue stands over a copper water basin, on top of a hand made of acid-resistant steel. The hand features copper waterlily leaves from which the water flows into the basin. The stone base of the sculpture is made of Ylämaa brown granite and the edge of the water basin is Ylämaa green granite.

Story of the film “Kaunis Veera eli Ballaadi Saimaalta” (Beautiful Veera, or a Ballad from Lake Saimaa)

The film’s locations include Lake Saimaa, Lappeenranta, Saimaa Canal, St. Petersburg as well as of course the tarred steamboat Prinsessa Armaada. Set in the early 1900s, the film features plenty of humour and romance in addition to songs. 

The protagonist is a girl child kidnapped and named Veera by a gypsy couple. When the gypsy couple later try to marry off their beautiful daughter Veera against her will in the hopes of a dowry, the girl runs away and finds work making coffee and as a maid on board the tarred steamboat “Prinsessa Armaada”. In St. Petersburg, fugitives enter the ship: a Finnish lieutenant fleeing the Cossacks, a Russian noblewoman and an older man who, after seeing Veera’s medallion, claims the girl as his own daughter who has been stolen by the gypsies. Filled with romance, humour and music, the film shines like a beautiful Finnish summer day. Based on the musical play by Tatu Pekkarinen, “Kaunis Veera” will always hold its place in the hearts of Finns.

The Kaunis Veera statue is now in place in Shore Park (Rantapuisto) at the harbour, delighting people with its presence. You can listen to Veera’s story via the Arilyn application. “Kohdataan satamassa” (Meet you at the harbour) https://arilyn.com/ 

1. Download free Arilyn App from Google Play or Apple App Store to your phone. 
2. Point at the Kaunis Veera Experience poster with the app and Arilyn app will scan it. 
3. Wait a few seconds and enjoy the AR-experience 

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