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Katherine and Kari Haataja

'Supporting art in all its forms'

The last of Nelli's apostles to find a home was Saint Simon, who was something of a 'mystery Apostle' with a mere four references in the Bible. Scholars have speculated that Simon was associated with the Sicarii, a group of assassins who tried to cast off Roman rule. Their tactic was to mingle in crowds during festivals, slip up behind a victim, then kill him with their Sicari, or short curved knife. Was it the operatic dimensions of this gruesome theory that appealed to adopters Katherine and Kari Haataja?

No stranger to promoting struggling artists, Katherine is a Finnish mezzo soprano who founded 'Operosa', a classical music and opera festival in 2006 which has found a permanent home in Montenegro. Operosa aims to encourage young opera talent and to bring a classical art form to new audiences - much the same way that AWA brings to light forgotten artworks, making them accessible to new generations of art lovers.

Both Katherine and her husband, Kari, a fellow Finn, are well-travelled and multi-lingual. They are currently living in Muscat, Oman, where Kari has interests in several mining operations. Previous endeavours have taken them and their two sons to Bulgaria, Serbia, Russia, London and Paris. They also return often to Finland to indulge their love of skiing and other winter sports.

Their openness to new adventures, to challenges and to appreciating creativity in its many forms meant that Katherine and Kari were happy to adopt not only Simon, but also the mission of AWA.