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Author Solivagant
#1 | Posted: 25 Sep 2018 03:21 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I note the following in Joel Baldwin's review of this WHS -
"My only real complaint with this site was that photos and videos weren't allowed inside! I'm really not sure why - there isn't delicate painting to be protected, no trade secrets, and it's definitely not crowded enough to be a crowd management issue either. Maybe they've had problems with people filming the tour guides? Either way, we found it strange and it made for a rather difficult video!"

My understanding when we were there and questioned the guide about the "no interior photography" policy is that it is a copyright issue. The WHS is privately owned by the UPM-Kymmene Corporation -
See this privacy statement from the Museum's Website demonstrating its ownership -
Either they don't want to reduce potential sales of guidebooks and post cards or it is just a standard "corporate" ban in all their sites - operational or not (Most/All private companies would ban interior photography in their operational premises without special permission)
(ELS - I see that we don't yet have it on the "In Private Ownership" Connection.)

I was particularly annoyed that they wouldn't even let me photograph (in close-up!) the UNESCO inscription certificate which hangs on one of the walls and which I normally photograph when seen - one would have thought this "belonged" to the people of Finland!! But the private company seems to insist on asserting its rights. All very different from the sort of "relaxed" attitude which my preconceptions (and experiences) expect of Finns!!

Author elsslots
#2 | Posted: 25 Sep 2018 05:26 
(ELS - I see that we don't yet have it on the "In Private Ownership" Connection.)

added it!

Author clyde
#3 | Posted: 25 Sep 2018 16:19 
ahhh i'll definitely try my naughtiest best to get at least a snapshot of the unesco certificate when nobody's looking! I really hate photography bans just for the sake of it when it would generste more revenue for the corporations to simply add a photography fee

Author Sjobe
#4 | Posted: 26 Sep 2018 03:24 | Edited by: Sjobe 
But the private company seems to insist on asserting its rights. All very different from the sort of "relaxed" attitude which my preconceptions (and experiences) expect of Finns!!

As a Finnish person I recognize two things here:
1. Finnish society is full of rules and regulations. Finnish bureaucrats love rules. The background for this is that all kind of equality is important value in Finland. So, even though there is a stupid rule, it should be the same for everyone. And there are always people looking after that you obey the rule. Because it is important that no one could take advantage of bending the rules – that would be unequal.
2. Forest industry is some kind of a sacred cow in Finland. Forest companies own a lot of things and they are very strict about their ownership.

Just keep on snapping pictures and breaking the rules :)

Author Solivagant
#5 | Posted: 26 Sep 2018 05:47 
Just keep on snapping pictures and breaking the rules :)

But, on the other hand, British culture places an important value on being "polite" (at least as a "show"!) and avoiding "face to face" scenes is also very important. So, although we will happily break the rules if we can get away with it without actually having to face someone, it is culturally rather more difficult for us if someone has actually said "don't do this" and "doing it" potentially involves deceiving them personally (deceiving an institution is another matter altogether!) or facing them down.
We seem to have a "cultural impasse"!

Author Sjobe
#6 | Posted: 26 Sep 2018 10:06 
We seem to have a "cultural impasse"!

I understand. My overconfident comment doesn't mean that I'm some kind of rebel when it comes to photography (unesco certificates or anything else), rather the opposite. I'm just tired of Finnish officials who overinterpret rules rather that being reasonable. Nowadays it is referred in Finnish media as "sääntö-Suomi", translated "Rule-Finland" or "Finland of Rules". This is one article about this issue I found in English.

Author Jarek Pokr
#7 | Posted: 27 Sep 2018 12:35 
I jist checked my phots from this place (visited in 2008) and realized that I have a lot of photos from inside and outside of Verla
Hence, 10 years ago there was no obstacles to make as many photos as you like on the spot. If you want I can share them...u

Author Zoe
#8 | Posted: 27 Sep 2018 13:33 
It would be cool to have a photo of a certificate for each listing, although I'm not sure each one has a metal one, or I wouldn't be sure where they placed the one for Rock Art in Spain...

Author joelonroad
#9 | Posted: 27 Sep 2018 13:44 
Honestly, if I was just doing photographs for my own private use I would have no problem with taking a couple of sneaky photos (and have done this at non-World Heritage sites).

But given that I'm putting the videos online and publicly available (and fairly easily connectable with my identity), I'm pretty hesitant to break the rules regardless of how silly they might seem. I know that in the US, the NPS uses YouTube to find people using drones illegally in their national parks and then sending them a fine or worse.

Ironically - my best performing video on the entire channel is about the Altamira Cave in Spain, where I did film surreptitiously inside the replica! It was one of my very early videos (before we really got rolling on the project) and I kind of regret it now.

Author joelonroad
#10 | Posted: 27 Sep 2018 14:02 | Edited by: joelonroad 
I was particularly annoyed that they wouldn't even let me photograph (in close-up!) the UNESCO inscription certificate which hangs on one of the walls and which I normally photograph when seen - one would have thought this "belonged" to the people of Finland!! But the private company seems to insist on asserting its rights. All very different from the sort of "relaxed" attitude which my preconceptions (and experiences) expect of Finns!!

I guess we got them on a good day! Or nobody was paying attention 😉


Author GaryArndt
#11 | Posted: 27 Sep 2018 14:45 
The most visited places in the world are also the most photographed. The photos do not stop more people from visiting.

Trying to protect postcard sales or protect "copyright" is extremely short-sighted.

Author Sjobe
#12 | Posted: 29 Nov 2019 18:25 | Edited by: Sjobe

The Finnish Heritage Agency proposes the following two (or three) sites to a new tentative list of Finland (no official English titles – translations by me):

"The humane modern architecture of Alvar Aalto"
In the Finnish media has been told that there will be 10–15 buildings, probably also from the other countries. The buildings included to this tentative site is not yet decided. Mentioned are especially the Paimio Sanatorium and the Sunila Pulp Mill and Residential Area, which was proposed for a tentative site already on 1986 but replaced by Verla.

My remarks: The Alvar Aalto works are the only thinkable site in Finland that is right away easy to see as a World Heritage Site. I think it would be a nice addition to Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright sites. In addition to the sites mentioned above should be, in my opinion, Vyborg Library (originally in Finland but now in Russia), Villa Mairea, Säynätsalo Town Hall and Maison Louis Carré.

"Areas of systematic settlement during and after World War II (1940–1954)"
"Phenomena related to the theme are architectural design, standardization, and the results of land redevelopment and zoning for population repositioning. The target areas could be rural areas for small-scale farming, housing areas for urban populations and residential areas for industry. As such, the proposal would represent both the 20th century and the livelihood strategy, both of which are under-represented in the World Heritage List."

My remarks: this is a strange and unexpected tentative site. I really don't understand what it means, but there must be some strategic thinking here.

The Holy place of worship of Ukonsaari by the Sami people at Inari (current tentative site)
"In addition, the proposal includes a statement that The Finnish Heritage Agency waits a proposal for inclusion of the site of Ukonsaari from the Sámi Parliament of Finland in accordance with the the Sámi cultural self-government".

My remarks: the heritage of the Sámi People would be a welcoming addition to the World Heritage list.

Author Sjobe
#13 | Posted: 16 Dec 2019 13:50

Just when a current TWHS of Ukonsaari was proposed as one possible site to a new tentative list of Finland, a heated public discussion has started about the rights of indigenous Sámi people. A group of archaeologists and Sámi culture experts want to ban landing to the sacred island of Sámi people. There is a direct comparison to the site of Uluru.

Now, two main tour operators of the City of Inari has decided to stop tours to Ukonsaari. There is still one operator that will continue landings to the island.

I don't know what this all means. Maybe this is a preparation for inclusion to the list, maybe something completely opposite. It is interesting to see what Sámi Parliament of Finland decides about including Ukonsaari to a new tentative list.

Author Sjobe
#14 | Posted: 12 Jun 2020 06:29 | Edited by: Sjobe 
I found a Report on the work of the Finnish tentative list working group (in Finnish). Here are some interesting findings about next possible Finnish tentative sites.

The working group has divided into three categories the sites that have a potential to meet the conditions set by the World Heritage Strategy. Here are the categories and sites with some excerpts from the report:

The first category has a number of sites that may not be considered on their own, but have a chance to succeed as part of an international serial nomination.

Olympic buildings
- "The Finnish Olympic buildings are a well-preserved entity, most of which is still in use. It may not be realistic to make a serial nomination of all of Helsinki's Olympic buildings as functionalist buildings, for example."

Labor movement initiative
- Paasitorni (Helsinki Workers' House) has appeared in discussions on the Danish serial nomination proposal about the Labor movement. In the Danish investigation, Paasitorni emerged as a possible target from Finland.
- "The labor movement is not represented on the World Heritage List, so the Danish initiative is a significant addition to the World Heritage List."

Underwater cultural heritage
- "Possible themes could be, for example, naval battle zones, merchant shipping over a period of time, or the development of shipbuilding or ship type."
- "The well-preserved wrecks of the Baltic Sea, especially from the 17th and 18th centuries, are likely to be able to meet the requirements of the World Heritage List."
- "The proposal should be a multinational serial designation involving several Baltic Sea states. In such a project, Finland could even be proactive."

War graves
- "With regard to the proposal for the Finnish war graves of Winter War, Continuation War and Lapland War, it makes sense to wait for the committee's decision on the evaluation of Sites Associated with Memories of Recent Conflicts."
- "Finland seeks to monitor whether other countries' nominations create combinations that Finland could join."

Salpa Line
- "World War II defense lines, such as the Salpa Line, are not on the World Heritage List to the same extent as older defense lines.
- "Also in this case, it is worth waiting for the decision of the World Heritage Committee on the evaluation of Sites Associated with Memories of Recent Conflicts."

The second category has sites or themes where the working group sees potential for OUV, but which require further research or studies to demonstrate this.

Oulujoki power plants
- "The Oulujoki power plant architecture is a fine, nationally very important industrial entity. In its scope, it is quite exceptional on a Finnish scale."
- "However, the potential of the site to show OUV is currently not entirely clear. Similar power plants can be found in, for example, the USA, Canada, Russia, China and Brazil."
- "A similar site in Norway can already be found on the World Heritage List: Rjukan-Notodden."
- "There is potential in the Oulujoki power plants, but if the site is to be presented as an industrial site, the study must be extended to engineering. Standardization and construction technology would require further research to demonstrate the special value of Oulujoki hydropower plants. Presenting the site as a change in the environment, on the other hand, would require a completely different approach."
- "The view of the working group is that it is difficult to get a site on the list based on hydropower or architecture alone."

Finnish lighthouses and waterways (mixed)
- "A similar site does not already exist on the World Heritage List."
- "It would be worthwhile to make a brief comparison with other similar sites in order to find out to what extent Finnish sea marks, their abundance and historical stratification are an exceptional phenomenon in the world."

Conifer tar production
- "Tar production has been a major industry in the area of present-day Finland and the most important export product in the 17th and 18th centuries, both in the new area and along new routes in the 19th century. The working group sees that conifer tar production could be an issue that would have the potential to meet the criteria set by the World Heritage List. However, the topic would require further investigation and inventory."

Cultural landscapes
- "Cultural landscapes are an under-represented group and have therefore been prioritized in the national World Heritage Strategy."
- "It would be worthwhile to study, for example, the whole "Diverse cultural landscapes marked by agriculture", in which the areas at different stages would be represented, for example, in one and the same riverside valley. Another possibility would be to study structural development in the landscape through sites at different stages of land redistribution."
- "Of the Finnish agricultural landscapes, those related to water either in Lakeland or in the archipelago, are probably the strongest on an international scale."
- "For all cultural landscape sites, it is particularly important that they are large enough."

The third category has sites that are so ready that the working group believes they can be sent to ICOMOS for evaluation for a tentative list.

Areas created as a result of systematic settlement activities during and after World War II (1940–1954)
- The proposal is made by the Finnish Settlement Museum.
- "Important themes could be the outcome strategy or Finland's post-war settlement activities, which are important issues for Finland."
- "There have been settlement activities elsewhere (eg in Germany) but not on almost the same scale as in Finland."
- "Much research has been done on the subject in the history of architecture, art and social history, and it is still being done because it is a topical issue in today's world as well. The conservation situation and the chances of finding representative sites are good."
- "The phenomena would be architectural design, standardization, and the results of land distribution and zoning for population relocation. The target areas could be rural areas for small-scale farming, housing areas for urban populations and residential areas for industry."
- "Criteria two, three, and six would be possible. However, criterion four (typology) should be avoided."
- Sites included to this tentative site is not yet decided. Only sites mentioned are Laivateollisuus Residential Area in Pansio, and the Finnish Settlement Museum in Lapinlahti.

The humane modern architecture of Alvar Aalto
- "The buildings and plans implemented by Alvar Aalto are recognized in the international architectural literature and are thus arguably Finland's most internationally known phenomena."
- "The evaluation of Paimio Sanatorium (Icomos 2007) called on Finland to examine the possibility of submitting more than one of Aalto's buildings to the World Heritage List."
- "The performance cannot be based on personal history, but rather on how Alvar Aalto influenced modernism in the world. The working group considers this proposal to be the strongest of all the proposals received."

* * * * *

Of the second and first categories, I think the best potential is "tar production" (if there are enough well-preserved sites), "underwater cultural heritage", and "labor movement". I would LOVE a site of Finnish lighthouses, as I very much like to visit lighthouse islands, but it is hard to know how unique it would be. "Cultural landscapes" and "Salpa Line" could have some potential. I think "Oulujoki hydro power plants" don't have OUV. "War graves" and "Olympic buildings" have weak chances.

Of the third category, Aalto architecture should be enough for WHS. Settlement nomination is a bit difficult to grasp, but they seem to believe in it. If the site selection is reasonable and the title is understandable, it might have some chances.

Author meltwaterfalls
#15 | Posted: 12 Jun 2020 09:26 
Thanks for that rundown Sjobe.

Whilst I wouldn't put it near the top 50 missing, the post war housing initiative is certainly interesting, as someone who grew up in and around the UK equivalent it certainly resonates with me, though I don't really know enough to comment on this proposals specific merits.

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