This year Wikimedia Finland and our partner the Finnish Heritage Agency chose to work with a specific theme, The Sacred Place. The fire of the Notre Dame fresh in memory we complemented data about religious buildings. Looking back in time and across cultures, we also added nearly 5000 archaeological sites to Wikidata, but the competition was essentially open for any sentiments of places experienced as sacred. The competition resulted in 1658 photos from 66 photographers and 220 photos from 26 photographers to the rephotography series. The process opened discussions about safeguarding and respecting fragile cultural sites when data about them is openly available. The discussion also emphasised the need for cultural heritage vocabularies across countries and languages in the Nordic region.
Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari excursions
As part of Wiki Loves Monuments and Helsinki rephotography project we did two photo excursions to former closed military islands Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari. The islands belong to the same fortification system as the world heritage site Suomenlinna. Their fortification started in 1554 and increased after the Crimean war in 1854–1855 and in the First World War it was part of Krepost Sveaborg, the imperial Russian system of land and coastal fortifications constructed around Helsinki. After Finland gained its independence in 1917, weaponry of the Defence Forces was stored in Vallisaari until the 21st century. As closed islands with a very small human population, they become the most diverse nature destinations in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
The Finnish Defence Forces gave up the islands in 2008 and Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari were opened to the public in 2016 and now the islands are developed towards tourism. We have been photographing the islands in previous years and now we made a more focused effort to document the change in the islands with a guided tour on September 14th to Vallisaari and a picnic at Kuninkaansaari on September 28th with 15 people in total.