Museum as Asylum 

Museums supporting integration

The Museum as a Safe Place project events at the Helinä Rautavaara Museum, in Ahertajankuja, Tapiola. Photo: Kristina Tohmo 2016.

The Museum as Asylum project, conceived and lead by our Museum, was a joint effort by 15 museums. 

Throughout 2016–2018, the museums arranged exhibitions, guided tours, workshops with exercise, art and craft skills, as well as parties and other events for asylum seekers. The aim was to develop and instil activities within museums that would help to integrate asylum seekers and immigrants by improving and supporting their well-being and ability to function as active citizens.

Photo: Kristina Tohmo 2016

More than 10,000 asylum seekers and immigrants took part in the activities. The Museum as Asylum project received funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture. The project was presented at a Helsinki meeting of government ministers from the Nordic countries.

Collaborating participants in the project were Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA), the Toy Museum Hevosenkenkä (now Leikki – the Museum of Play), the Finnish Museum of Horology, the Espoo City Museum (KAMU), the Helsinki Art Museum (HAM), the Hotel and Restaurant Museum, the Finnish Museum of Photography, the Aine Art Museum, Kuopio Cultural History Museum (KUHMU), the North Karelian Museum, the Juminkeko Foundation, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, the Serlachius Museums and Sagalund Museum.

Download the Museum as Asylum project publication in Finnish:

Turvapaikkana museo. Museot turvapaikanhakijoiden kohtaamispaikkana. (

Ed. Riika Huitti-Malka, Helinä Rautavaara Museum, 2018