Wäinö Aaltonen: When friendships are made
The two riders in this sculpture placed in front of the Turku Concert Hall symbolise the friendship between Turku and Gothenburg, who have been twin cities since 1946.
The City of Turku commissioned this sculpture from Wäinö Aaltonen (1894-1966) after the war, to be donated to Gothenburg as a thank you for its support during the war years. The sculpture was unveiled in Gothenburg in 1955. The City of Turku got a duplicate of the sculpture as a donation from Turun Verkatehdas Oy and kauppaneuvos (a Finnish honorary title) Leo Wainstein. The idea was that the citizens of these two cities would see the same sculpture and remember the friendship that binds them together. The sculpture in Turku was unveiled on 21 May 1955.
Riding has traditionally been seen as a symbol of power, especially in the memorial sculptures of great men. However, the figures in Aaltonen’s sculpture, the horses and the man and the woman looking at each other, suggest closeness. The model for the woman figure was the daughter of Wäinö Aaltonen, Anja.