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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 18:59 GMT 19:59 UK
Finnish square named after Lordi
Member of rock band Lordi
The band never appears publicly without its monster costumes
The Finnish city of Rovaniemi says it will name a square after monster rock band Lordi, its surprise Eurovision Song Contest winners.

The band was the first Finnish act to claim victory in the competition.

It also made history as the first heavy metal group to win. Its song Hard Rock Hallelujah scored record points.

The mayor of Rovaniemi - the band's hometown, located on the Arctic Circle - said the municipality wanted to honour its sons for their success.

Until now, Finland had one of the worst records in the history of the annual contest.

But Lordi, whose members dress as monsters with horns and claws, pulled off a surprise win in Saturday's competition in Athens.

Lordi's victory shows us that with hard work... even the greatest dreams come true
Official Rovaniemi Santa Claus
The new square bearing Lordi's name will be part of the redevelopment of Rovaniemi's city centre.

The town - the regional capital of Lapland - lies on the Arctic Circle and describes itself as the home of the real Santa Claus.

In a statement issued to Finnish media the official Rovaniemi Santa Claus said: "Lordi's victory shows us that with hard work and belief in your own abilities even the greatest dreams come true."

Finland has embraced the band since its victory - despite earlier concerns it would tarnish the country's reputation.

Both Finnish President Tarja Halonen and Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen have also congratulated the group.




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