Tove Jansson never took her family of fairytale characters too seriously, but they now have their own museum in Tampere, attracting Moomins fans from around the world

On the walls and in glowing display cases of a new museum in Finland, little blob-nosed creatures potter about their daily lives: gardening and cooking, going for walks or playing music; coming out of hibernation to greet the spring sun; and also tidying their houses as the leaves turn and the long Nordic winter nears. Moomins fans from all over the world are already making their way to Tampere in southern Finland to see the original artwork by author Tove Jansson and the fantastically detailed models of scenes from the books made by her life partner and fellow artist, Tuuliki Pietila. On the opening day, last month, 3,000 devotees visited, including a large Japanese contingent.

Jansson, who came from a Swedish-speaking Finnish family of artists and had been earning money as an illustrator from the age of 15, published the first book, The Moomins and The Great Flood, in 1945. A surprisingly dark fantasy about kind-hearted, simple creatures whose world was threatened with annihilation, written in the shadow of the second world war. Many books followed but they only became international bestsellers – and made her famous at home – in the 1950s, when she began a Moomins strip cartoon for the London Evening News.

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Source: The Guardian

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