As a regular visitor to Finland for more than 40 years, I was taken aback by Amanda Levete’s ill-informed comments on Finnish culture and design (24 November).
Rudimentary research would have shown that Finland has, by far, the most effective education system in the world, which has equipped Finland’s small, but highly-educated, population to create one of the most successful global economies and developed a broad appreciation of good design in consumer products, architecture and, yes, tourist goods.
The Museum of Modern Art, which she claims is “Helsinki’s only contemporary building”, is disliked by the locals because it doesn’t fit with the harmonious blend of Swedish and Russian influences that create the Baltic architectural heritage of Helsinki.
And the tourist goods of Finland set a far higher standard than the Beefeater and Union Jack kitsch sold in London. I’m all for exporting to our staunchest ally in the EU, but please not our peculiar British brand of design snobbery.
Colin Harding, chairman and director, George & Harding Construction