Prison Museum Opens Mid-May

[WED MAY 3 2017; A8; ’Vankilamuseo avautuu kuun puolivälissä’, Saara Airaksinen]

 

The Prison Museum opens this month, and visitors will be able to give suggestions for improvement. PHOTO: Juhani Salo

 

Lions Club is on board with voluntary work.

 

The opening of the Prison Museum has been verified, as Linnan Kehitys, the National Board of Antiquities, and the Criminal Sanctions Agency have recently reached an agreement on arranging the project.

CEO of Linnan Kehitys Mervi Käki says that the opening of the museum is being prepared hectically. The museum is meant to open next week, along with the Sulasol Amateur Musicians Festival.

– The museum should open on Friday, May 12, so the concert visitors should be able to go take a look. We just signed the contracts last week, so this is very sudden, Käki says.

According to Käki, the responsibilities of the various parties involved have now been defined.

– Now we can get to work. We have a tripartite agreement: a property agreement with the National Board of Antiquities, and a collection agreement with the Criminal Sanctions Agency, Käki recounts.

 

In May, the Prison Museum will be open from Tuesday until Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm. From June until August, the museum will be open every day, adhering to the opening hours of Häme Castle.

– We’ve had to prepare this very fast, so May will be spent practicing. We’re constructing the office, training staff, and preparing marketing, Käki imparts.

Also joining the project is Lions Club, with voluntary workers to run the museum. They have a crew of 20, with 2-4 people present at a time.

– We pay them, and they give the money to charity. This isn’t supposed to be a business for anyone. We want to open the Prison Museum as an attraction for locals and tourists alike. There’s a demand for that. It’s important for the whole area around the castle to become one attraction that people can buy joint tickets for, Käki points out.

 

There is little time for marketing, so Käki says the expectations for the amout of visitors are level-headed.

– Annually, we’ve previously had around 20 000 visitors. It’s been especially lively in the summer. We’re obviously late with the marketing, so we’ll be happy if we get a few thousand visitors, Käki says.

The first summer will be used to gather experience.

– With this schedule, we’re proceeding carefully, so we can get the place open. We do have ideas, but nothing worth rushing.

– The most important thing is to get visitors. It’s great to get to open the museum and see how people like it. We’re open to improvement suggestions from visitors, says Käki.

 

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