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Two environmentally-themed works of art celebrate the European Green Capital year

The recently implemented two-piece installation ‘The Laune Ostrich’ and ‘The Ostrich Egg’, pay tribute to Lahti’s European Green Capital year 2021. The artworks were created by Villu Jaanisoo, a sculptor renowned for his public works and utilisation of recycled materials.

The pair of sculptures are located in the city’s key entrance points to welcome all arrivals. At the same time, they remind us of Lahti’s year as the European Green Capital.

Standing in Sokeritopanpuisto Park, the larger sculpture, Launeen strutsi (The Laune Ostrich), is easily visible from Uudenmaankatu Street. The smaller one, Strutsin muna (The Ostrich Egg), is located at the start of Rautatienkatu Street near Marski Square.

The artworks take a stand on the loss of biodiversity as a result of human activity. Biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate on a global scale. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the ostrich as an endangered species as the number of wild specimens is rapidly decreasing.

The works reflect the environmental theme also in terms of ecological material choices. The Ostrich is composed of used car tires while the Egg’s lace-like shell is made from recycled stainless steel.

As both works will be illuminated, they will delight passers-by even in the darker seasons.

Villu Jaanisoo (b. 1963, Tallinn) is one of Finland’s most prominent sculptors. His works can be viewed in various distinguished art museums as well as numerous cities in Finland and abroad. The dual pieces of art are Jaanisoo’s first public artworks in Lahti.

The works are part of the European Green Capital project, and they were funded by the Sustainable Lahti Foundation and the City of Lahti. The implementation and coordination of the artworks was managed by the City of Lahti.