Paavo statue and Paavo of Saarijärvi – symbols of Finnish sisu
Tel. 044 459 8411 / Saarijärvi Museum
Statue of Saarijärven Paavo is designed by sculptor Heikki Varja (1918-1986). It is one of the best-known figurative works of the artist. It was unveiled during the Saarijärvi agricultural fair in 1961.
The bronze part of the statue illustrates the themes of J. L. Runeberg’s poem Saarijärven Paavo. In the statue’s granite pedestal there is a citation of Runeberg’s poem: “He hoped God would give growth”.
Behind the statue there are these words added in 1973: “Mix a half of bark in the bread, as the frost has nipped our neighbor’s cornfield” (added by Eeti Hänninen). The municipality has received the statue. It is located in the vicinity of the main entrance of the church.
In addition to the church, the statue has become one of the symbols of the town. A Paavo is elected every year, and he or she announced on Midsummer’s Eve by the statue.