Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art

There is an exhilarating zest to Kiasma, which is evident from first sight of its radical building. Designed by the American architect Steven Holl and inaugurated in 1998, it is a startling complex of curving, angular and beautifully engineered sheets of zinc, aluminium, brass and glass. Inside, the 25 galleries curve and intertwine, all lit by natural light.

The permanent collection includes a number of works by international artists, such as Max Ernst, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, R.B. Kitaj, Cindy Sherman, Richard Serra, Francesco Clemente, Carl Andre, and so on. But this is really, above all, a showcase for contemporary Finnish artists, with cutting-edge work by Elija-Liisa Ahtila, Robert Lucander, Nina Roos and many others.

Outside, close to the main entrance, is an equestrian statue of Marshal Mannerheim (1867–1951), erected in 1960. Mannerheim is considered a great hero by many Finns for steering his country through the bloody civil war that followed independence, and again through the Second World War (fighting against the Soviet Union); he served as Finland's president from 1944 to 1946.

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