Mussel Monument

In July 2014, some 66 tons of nickel sulcate leaked from the Norilsk Nickel Plant in the Finnish town of Harjavalta. The effects were disastrous. The biggest harm was caused to mussels.

The piece consists of 15 casted and polished mussels. Life-size shells form a cluster near the water. Depending on the water level the sculpture will be above or under water.

The memorial is also an expression of the importance of biodiversity and a reminder of the consequences of these kinds of accidents. The 1:1 scale mussel monument challenges large monuments with its delicacy.

Memorial for the environmental degradation caused by the Harjavalta leak

According to the Finnish Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment 4,5 million mussels were killed, including the endangered thick shelled river mussels.

The accident was not easily detected – neither is the monument. Only the numerous dead mussels told about the severity of the damages.

By Jaakko Leeve