THE EXHIBITION “PRINCES AND PRINCESSES OF MONACO” IN BEIJING IN SEPTEMBER
by Ilio Masprone – Knight of the Principality of Monaco for cultural merits MONACO. After bringing all the sumptuousness of the Forbidden City to Monaco last summer, the Grimaldi Forum is readying itself to send China the exhibition “Princes and Princesses of Monaco: a European Dynasty (13th–21st century)” from September 7 to November 11. After three years of cultural dialogues, everything was finalized last April, by the sealing of the Partnership between the Grimaldi Forum Monaco and the Hantang Culture Group, represented by its President Jessica YU and Mark LU, Director of Production. The partnership agreement that took place during the press presentation of the event in the lounges of the Bulgari Hotel in Beijing, aimed at making this audiovisual group of very prominent, present in many international cultural events, the main vector of communication and promotion of the Monegasque event on the whole of China. During the press conference, HE Mrs. Catherine Fautrier, Ambassador of the Principality in China, recalled that “the ties that unite Monaco and China for more than 20 years intensify from year to year, and that the two Countries are now collaborating in many areas: the economy, education, environmental protection and culture.”
Sylvie Biancheri, General Director of the Congress and Culture Center of Monaco, and Catherine Alestchenkoff, Cultural Director of the Grimaldi Forum, emphasized the quality of the relationship with the Forbidden City, right from the beginning, and the remarkable work done by their teams. It is therefore with full confidence that HSH Prince Albert II has authorized to release from his collections more than 300 pieces to trace this great historical fresco. The recreated Palace spaces, and especially the Throne Room, will be an opportunity for visitors to get to know the princes who modernised Monaco: in particular Charles III, (1818-1889) creator of the new city of Monte Carlo and associated with the rise of gambling and tourism; and Albert I, (1848-1922) whose passion for the sea and science contributed to create the famous Oceanographic Museum in Montecarlo, is perpetuated today by Albert II. Also the stature of Monaco’s princes during the 17th and 18th centuries will be illustrated through recreations of court practice and their art collections. One of the emblematic items from this epoch is a fully restored processional canopy of velvet embroidered with the family crest – a witness to the enthronement and marriage of so many Monegasque monarchs during the 18th and 19th centuries.
HSH the Sovereign of Monaco will inaugurate the exhibition on September 6. The Prince has totally endorsed this terrific venture, which will bring enormous consequences to the already great international prestige that distinguishes the Principality of Monaco. Beyond the Throne that has left the Palace for the first time, guest stars are some forty pieces of fine jewellery – diadems, brooches, necklaces, bracelets, tiaras – from Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier together with the bust of the first Prince of the Dinasty, Honored II Grimaldi. A quality copy has replaced the original bust in its niche on the facade of the courthouse. On its return to the Principality,the beautifully restored original will integrate the busts room of the Prince’s Palace. The exhibition will close with another first, His Highness Prince Albert II’s private picture collection, testimony to the Grimaldi family’s enduring interest in the fine arts, and painting in particular, since the 17th century. Being shown outside the Palace for the first time, this group includes works by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Dufy, Bellotto and Poussin. The exhibition will take place in the heart of the Forbidden City, in a dual space of 1,400 square metres including the splendid Meridian Hall. It will take a straightforwardly chronological approach intended by curator Thomas Fouilleron, holder of a Ph.D in history and director of the Palace Archives and Library, to explore the grand themes of this small principality’s history. The artistic adviser is Stéphane Bern, TV and radio personality, journalist and writer, whose passionate interest in the history of the great monarchies has led to a longtime acquaintance with the Princes of Monaco. In the recreated Throne Hall they will offer an overview of more than 700 years of the history of the most ancient of Europe’s dynasties – the Grimaldis – founded in 1297 on a Rock whose fame has since spread worldwide. A second space has been designed as a magnificent wedding hall, in reference to those marriages whose blend of glamour and tradition, from Princess Grace to Princess Charlène, gave the Principality its mythic dimension. This section will open with the iconic Prince Rainier III/Grace Kelly couple, with information about their life in Monaco and personal items once belonging to the Hollywood actress who became a princess. The Chinese public, with its love of deep-rooted culture and tradition, is going to be more than delighted with this journey through a thousand years of history. The ties that unite Monaco and China for more than 20 years intensify from year to year, and the two Countries are now collaborating in many areas: the economy, education, environmental protection and culture. The sumptuous exhibition that will open in September in the Chinese capital will further strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two countries.