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June Pelo
08-06-04, 21:36
A project has begun to restore the old cast iron crosses in Åbo cemetery. The crosses were restored between 1995 and 1997, but the paint has begun to peel, so the project will start again on about 400 crosses. The work is expected to take about half a year for two people doing the work. During one of my visits to Finland I found that the old black iron cross on the grave of one of my relatives in Maria Cemetery (Karleby) was restored with black paint and new gold lettering. It was an impressive sight - crosses aren't usually seen on graves in America.

June

socar
26-07-04, 22:59
During my recent trip to Finland I visited many cemetaries and found the black iron crosses in varying condition. Most of those that remain standing were painted black and the lettering was either silver or gold. In Terjarv there were many broken crosses laying by the cemetary wall. I don't know if they will be repaired or will just be thrown away. Most of the dates of death appeared to be in the early 1900s. I get the impression that there is a lot of "recycling" of the older (18th & 19th century) plots. However I must say that the cemetaries are kept in beautiful condition with flowers, cut grass, trees for shade and orderly tombstones.

June Pelo
27-07-04, 01:40
The old crosses aren't seen often in cemeteries these days. Here is one on the grave of one of my relatives in Karleby cemetery: Klockaren Karl Källström, 1819-1878. One of my retired relatives there goes to the cemetery and cleans the graves of his relatives, especially ours because we have no family members there to do it for us. I was told that if a grave isn't taken care of, it can be re-used. In olden days the cemetery was near the church and there wasn't a shortage of land, but now civilization is crowding in and taking over vacant land so the church is re-using old neglected graves. To make sure our family grave isn't re-used, I have sent a check to the cemetery association to see that the graves are weeded and that flowers are placed there for the next 10 years.
June

Karen Norwillo
27-07-04, 20:37
June, What would be a fair amount to send to the church for perpetual care? We have lost a few of my ancestor's graves to no family attention and I don't want it to happen to those that are still marked. Could I send it in USD or should I do EU? Karen

June Pelo
27-07-04, 20:56
Karen,

I sent the check to a cousin who handled the matter through her bank in Finland. I just picked ten years because I might not be around that long and it will be up to someone else to take care of it after that.

Perhaps someone on Finlander would know how to obtain an address for the church/cemetery association of your parish. I know that some parishes publish a notice in the local newspaper listing the graves that will be re-used which gives people time to take action.

June

Karen Norwillo
27-07-04, 21:54
Thanks, June. I will contact Kaj since he is the vicar at Esse, the church in question. Karen

Hasse
28-07-04, 00:36
I once asked the Ministry of Cultural Affairs in Finland about the way the old grave markers were handled and got the following answer. The answer is in Swedish until I have the time to translate it.

Som svar på Era frågor ställda till kulturminister Tanja Karpela vill jag framföra följande:

enligt den nya begravningslagen som träder i kraft den 1.1.2004 skall efter det att gravrätten upphört huvudmannen för begravningsplatsen erbjuda den som innehar gravrätten tillfälle att avlägsna gravvården, om inte huvudmannen för begravningsplatsen av särskilda skäl beslutar att ta hand om skötseln av gravvården efter att gravrätten upphört. (§ 14) Med särskilda skäl avses här närmast just kulturhistoriska skäl.
enligt kyrkoordningen (17 kapitlets 12 §) skall efter att gravrätten upphört konstnärligt eller historiskt värdefulla konstruktioner eller minnesmärken, som inte kan bevaras på sin plats, utställas på lämplig plats på begravningsplatsen eller skall huvudmannen på annat sätt taga hand om deras uppbevarande.
att beständigt lagra alla gravvårdar och minnesmärken på ett tillräckligt värdigt sätt kan dock med tiden bli både kostnads- och utrymmesmässigt krävande
i frågor i anslutning till detta kan närmast kyrkostyrelsen (Harri Palo) ge tillägsupplysningar
i vårt land verkar åtminstone en frivillig medborgarorganisation, Minnesvårdarna rf, som har som uppgift att bevara och restaurera gamla gravvårdar. Dess verksamhetsledare heter Henrik Dergerman och föreningens adress är Annegatan 12, Helsingfors