Villu Jaanisoo implements two works of art in Lahti to celebrate the European Green Capital of the Year - Lahti

Villu Jaanisoo implements two works of art in Lahti to celebrate the European Green Capital of the Year

To celebrate the European Green Capital of the Year 2021, Lahti will receive an impressive pair of sculptures. Villu Jaanisoo, a sculptor known for his public works and the utilisation of recycled materials, was selected as the implementer from a group of renowned artists.

Launeen strutsi ja Strusin muna
Jaanisoo’s artworks Launeen strutsi and Strutsin muna (‘The Laune Ostrich’ and ‘The Ostrich Egg’) take a stand on the loss of biodiversity as a result of human activity. The ostrich is one of the oldest birds in the world, and many ostrich species are already extinct. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the ostrich as an endangered species. Although there are a large number of ostriches in zoos, their number in the wild is rapidly decreasing.

“These two works of art tell a story of hope. We still have hope that man will learn to act more wisely in the future. We can learn to live better and also let others live with us on the same planet,” Sculptor Villu Jaanisoo says.

The pair of sculptures will be located in the city’s important entrance points to remind us of the Green Capital of the Year and to welcome visitors to Lahti. The larger-scale work Launeen strutsi is located near a significant transport route and serves as an art initiative for those coming from further away. The smaller one, Strutsin muna, will be implemented close to Lahti Travel Centre.

The works depict the environmental theme externally, but also in terms of ecological material choices. Several layers of used tyres are used to build Launeen strutsi while the lace-like ornament of Strutsin muna will be built from recycled stainless steel. Both works will be illuminated so that they can be enjoyed even in dark seasons. The works are expected to be completed in 2023.

High-quality parallel sketches from all participating artists

Four renowned artists or teams participated in the parallel sketch phase of the two pieces of art. Artists Antti Immonen, Pekka and Teija Isorättyä, Villu Jaanisoo, and Jaakko Pernu made parallel sketches of the works on the basis of which the winning artist was selected.
The selection was made by an art selection team composed of representatives of the City of Lahti, the Green Capital of the Year project, museums in Lahti, and artist members.

“We are delighted that such great artists with different techniques wanted to participate in the parallel sketch order. Each one of them had considered the environmental theme from their point of view, and all sketches were extremely skilled artistically. In Jaanisoo’s work, we were particularly fascinated by how it took a stand and used materials as well as its statuesque nature,” says Head of Communications Saara Piispanen from the European Green Capital project.

Villu Jaanisoo (b. 1963 in Tallinn, Estonia) is one of the leading Finnish sculptors. His works are included in the collections of various key art museums as well as in several cities in Finland and abroad. The work that will be completed now is Jaanisoo’s first public work of art in Lahti.

The pair of works is part of the European Green Capital of the Year project. It is funded by the Sustainable Lahti Foundation and the City of Lahti. The City of Lahti is responsible for the implementation and coordination of the work.

Additional information

Saara Piispanen
Head of Communications, Lahti — European Green Capital of the Year 2021
Tel. +358 (0)44 416 4680,

Villu Jaanisoo
Tel. +358 (0)50 413 1906,