With a cosmopolitan population and economic structure made up of small and medium sized companies, highly profitable businesses and high-rise industrial workshops, Monaco’s economic reality sets the example for originality and ingeniousness.
Prince Albert II, Princess Charlène, Princess Caroline, Princess Stéphanie, Andrea Casiraghi, Charlotte Casiraghi, Louis Ducruet and Camille Gottlieb were present in the Council chamber, along with many other VIPs.
A new tribute to the Builder Prince took place on Friday, September 8. The meeting was held in the National Council, where President Brigitte Boccone-Pagès warmly welcomed several members of the Princely Family.
The Sovereign, Princess Charlene, Princess Caroline, Princess Stéphanie, Andrea and Charlotte Casiraghi, Louis Ducruet and Camille Gottlieb were present for this new centenary commemoration of Prince Rainier III’s birth.
The Minister of State, Pierre Dartout, the Government Ministers, the National Councillors, the Mayor Georges Marsan, some former Presidents of the National Council – including Stéphane Valéri – the Archbishop of Monaco, Dominique-Marie David, and many of the Principality’s other leading figures also took part in the ceremony.
After showing a short video entitled « Prince Constituent, l’accord des volontés » (the Constituent Prince, an agreement of volitions) recalling the history of cooperation between the reigning Prince and the National Council – a history marked by the establishment of a first Constitution in 1911, followed by a new one in 1962 – Brigitte Boccone-Pagès recalled the close ties between the Princely Family and the National Council: “Almost fifty years ago, on 10 May 1974, the presence of Your extended Family in the Assembly, on the occasion of the festivities marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the reign of Prince Rainier III, was a great first, which we reflect in one of the panels of the exhibition inaugurated today by its title ‘a day of unanimous celebration’.”
The Sovereign also spoke, stressing that Prince Rainier III “understood the importance of preserving the traditional Princes of our monarchy while maintaining, as he said, an evolution and not a revolution.” Accompanied by his family, the Sovereign then proceeded to sign a new stamp paying tribute to the 1962 Constitution.
At the end of the ceremony, the Princely Family inaugurated the exhibition on the Builder Prince in the National Council. The “L’accord des volontés” exhibition, which can be seen in the building’s glass foyer, traces the history of the Constitution. You can visit the exhibition until December 29.
The Princess spoke after her trip to South Africa.
Readers of the celebrity magazine Gala were treated to an exclusive interview with Princess Charlene on Thursday 21 September, following her trip to South Africa for the Waterbike Challenge.
A trip that she was particularly keen to make: ” It was important for me to be there to support the Foundation’s teams, but also the athletes who gave up their time to take part in the race and promote my Foundation’s actions as sportsmen and women. (…) There was a fantastic atmosphere. The participants and athletes really stepped up,” she said, happily.
Also asked about the Sovereign and their Children, the Princess stressed the importance of sport in the Princely Couple’s lives: “we wanted our children to take up sport at a very early age and to learn the importance of the positive values of sport, which we believe are essential to the development of every child and every adult. It started with learning to swim, of course, but Jacques and Gabriella soon chose the discipline that best suited them.”
After talking about their summer holidays in Corsica, which of course included water sports, the Princess concluded the interview by revealing what has helped her to feel “on fine form, happy and content” : “I think nothing is more important than being supported and loved.”
The Monegasque boxer will compete in his eighth professional bout on Saturday 23 September at the Chapiteau de Fontvieille.
It is a historic moment. A first on home soil. An unmissable event. At the age of 25, the Monegasque boxing prodigy’s dream is about to come true: to fight in the Principality, in front of his family and friends.
“It’s an enormous source of pride to be able to perform in front of my home crowd,” he confided on his social networks. “I can’t wait to experience it with you. I look forward to seeing many of you there. Daghe Munegu.”
In his eighth professional bout, the undefeated fighter (7 wins so far) will face Czech boxer Denis Bartos (12 wins, 7 defeats).
Tickets for the historic fight are available here.
Doors open at 5pm for what promises to be an unforgettable evening.
Fifteen years ago, after a successful career in fashion and cosmetics, Kamyar Moghadam created the famous Fashion For Floors designer boutique, which is about to become ‘Maison Moghadam’. We met up with the ultra-creative designer, whose expertise is recognised far beyond the Principality’s borders, and whose career path is inspiring to say the least.
Decorator, architect, entrpreneur… When you ask Kamyar Moghadam to say what his profession is, it’s hard to pick just one. So the Fashion For Floors creator sums it up this way: “I’m an aesthete who makes people’s lives more beautiful.”
Indeed. Kamyar Moghadam knows exactly how to fit out a space, thanks to his sharp eye and an extremely rich ‘materials library’ – with 64 major brands as preferred partners, 16,000 references for fabrics, 12,000 references for wall coverings and 2,000 floor coverings.
“It’s my thing,” he says humbly. “It’s a playground for me. I walk into a room, I look around, I ask what the person wants to do and I find it very easy. If you ask me to fix an engine, I’m rubbish. But colours, shapes, materials, textures, the way it’s going to feel, projecting, that’s all very easy for me. I close my eyes and see the images in 5D. I see myself as someone who can take any space, and transform it into something different that will give you joy and power.”
And the best example of this rare talent can be found just a stone’s throw from Fashion For Floors, at Eichholtz by Moghadam. There is a hidden place at the back of the showroom, in the basement. A nightclub with a mellow, low-key atmosphere, frequented in particular by the Sovereign. A firm favourite with celebrities from Monaco and beyond, the club recently welcomed Bono and The Edge for their anniversary. “Jay-Z and Madonna have seen the club on video and will probably come too,” says Kamyar with a smile.
And while he maintains an air of mystery when talking about the stars who approach him to design their interior, Kamyar does mention one name: Shirley Bassey, his very first client in Monaco. His eyes light up at the mere mention. He tells us: “she was my icon, and only two months after I arrived, I was lucky enough, with my father’s guidance, to do her bedroom. She was so happy with the result that she said to me “darling, I love you so much! I wanna sing a song for you.” And she sang three songs for me in a silk negligee, like something out of a film. It could only happen in Monaco.”
It was a memorable first order, to say the least, and marked the start of Kamyar’s successful career in the Principality. A path he never envisaged when he left his native Germany to study at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in Paris.
“I was thinking of going into business, opening shops in general. I studied strategic marketing and design, which introduced me to the world of fashion, and especially Tom Ford, who was in my class. At the time, he was about to become Gucci’s creative director. By the way, the building that now houses Fashion For Floors is the former Maurizio Gucci building, and my mum used to shop there. I used to come with her when I was little,” says Kamyar, who a few years later joined Tom Ford on the Gucci adventure.
This was his first foray into the world of fashion, and it enabled the young man, who is fluent in four languages, to gain a wealth of creative experience, particularly in cosmetics, working for the likes of John Frieda and Christophe Robin, now his closest friend.
“I’ve worked for a lot of brands, always in second or third position after the creative director. (…) I had an incredible life very, very early on. At the age of 23, I was already flying everywhere in a private jet. My life was almost more hectic then than it is now. (…) I learned a lot about the world of luxury, aesthetics, manufacturing, finesse, love of detail… I honed my taste, my aesthetic eye. I see the detail, I understand materials, fabrics, textiles: all the things that give me so much enjoyment today. (…) I knew I had a creative side and fashion allowed me to express it. I like to make things sexy,” he says.
It’s no coincidence that the slogan at Fashion For Floors is “Make your home sexy.” It’s a direction that was taken despite the initial reluctance of Kamyar’s father, Alexander Moghadam, famous in the Principality for his Iranian carpets.
“After Paris, I came to Monaco to help my father. But he didn’t want my help, so I created my own concept: Fashion For Floors. I opened the business about 15 years ago on my own, against my father’s advice and without any help from my family. For my father, only Persian carpets were respectful, unlike modern carpets. He even told me that I was ‘selling rags‘,” he laughs.
Fortunately, Kamyar – who describes himself as “a very sensitive 4WD, but not fragile” – didn’t give up. And for the past 15 years, his success has been such that he was chosen to create the famous red carpet at the wedding of Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene. The decorator was even made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Grimaldi, becoming the youngest person to have received this prestigious distinction in 700 years.
But he has no intention of resting on his laurels. Deeply interested in every facet of a manufacturing process, and brimming with creativity, Kamyar is constantly undertaking new projects. In particular, he recently invested in a factory in Mexico, to give birth to a new brand: Marbellous.
“The brand is aimed at professionals: it will be the first ever collection of dining furniture in pure onyx. We’re the only company in the world to do this,” he says happily. With a launch planned for next January, this new Monegasque brand will be created thanks to the largest onyx quarry in the world. Because for Kamyar, half measures are not an option: “I love the ‘ verticality’ of the product, having complete control over the whole process, from design to sale. I find manufacturing exciting. It’s the same with rugs: I go to Himalaya, I look at the herds, and I seek out the best wool to make the most beautiful carpets in the world. (…) I just love what I do. And I reinvest the money I make in the company. I have a very comfortable lifestyle, but it hasn’t changed much over the last 10 years. I have a beat-up car and scooter, I dress simply, I don’t own a Rolex… So what? I get a huge amount of joy out of what I do!”
All these different projects have led Kamyar Moghadam to make a major decision: to change the name of Fashion For Floors, 15 years after its creation. “Today ‘Fashion For Floors’ no longer reflects our business: we do much more than that,” he says. “So I thought, why not use my family’s name? It’s been known in Monaco for 50 years.'”
The company is therefore rebranding to become ‘Maison Moghadam’ from now on. The aim is to become a true luxury brand, even if Kamyar already has a solid reputation in that field. “For wallpaper and fabrics, we work with 64 of the top brands in the world. We have the widest variety of fabrics in Europe, or perhaps beyond. Some brands even consult me before putting a product on the market. I am a great curator. (…) Generally speaking, we are the only ones to have so many products available, and this allows me to be ultra-creative and to provide the customer with a real simulation,” he says.
This energy and creativity are with him all the time. When he is not at work, Kamyar Moghadam indulges in his hobbies : botany and cooking. “All my homes have incredible vegetation, I love the soil. And I love cooking, whether it’s for one or for 30,” he says.
And without losing his unfailing smile, Kamyar invites anyone who is curious to go to his stores or to the club. “You are welcome to touch and feel the spaces that I have created, even if you don’t buy anything,” he says in conclusion, hoping that those who do step over the threshold will enjoy the tactile experience as much as he does.
The Colombian painter and sculptor was suffering from pneumonia and was 91 years old.
“The Fondation Prince Pierre is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Fernando Botero. Appointed to the Foundation’s Artistic Council in 1994, he became an honorary member in 2005,” said the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco following Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s announcement of the artist’s death on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter. “Fernando Botero, the painter of our traditions and our defects, the painter of our virtues, has died. The painter of our violence and our peace. Of the dove rejected a thousand times and placed on his throne a thousand times,” he wrote.
Fernando Botero had a home and a studio in the Principality, where he regularly exhibited his works. A few months ago, his paintings adorned the walls of Opera Gallery during Monaco Art Week and, a few years earlier, the Bartoux Gallery showed some 30 of his works. Among the most famous Colombian artists in the world, he was known for his curvaceous and voluptuous subjects, inspired by pre-Columbian art.
The French government has revamped the national highway code test to make it “more understandable”. Here’s what has changed.
A complete overhaul of the French highway code test, the compilation exam of rules, regulations and guidelines that every road user must follow in order to drive safely and lawfully, came into effect as of 1st September.
The test, which has 1,037 possible questions, has been simplified to avoid potential confusion and the vast bank of images previously used has been updated to “make them more realistic”. This has required to replacing of computer-generated shots with ones captured by drones.
Language simplification specialists and industry professionals were brought in to create this new version, which places renewed focus on rights to roadways.
This exam now asks test-takers to analyse situations from the point of view of other road users, such as cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and people on electric scooters, for example. The idea is to remind drivers that others have rights on the road too.
Another feature new to the test allows people taking the exam to better understand what is being asked of them. When an image includes several vehicles, for example, those concerned are clarified within the question by circling the visual or image in yellow.
What’s gone are the tricky questions that had a multiple choice of answers, but failed to adequately specify this nature. Now the question states whether a single choice or several are expected.
To pass the highway code test, an applicant must pass 35 out of 40 questions.
Following a 2016 reform, the success rate for the highway code exam decreased, going from approximately 71.5% in 2015 to 56.6% in 2022, according to official road safety data.
For more information, please click here.
Photo source: Sécurité Routière
This Saturday, the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco is running a host of activities for the whole family. Here are all the details about the upcoming Fête du Musée.
To celebrate the seas and all the riches marine life has to offer, the Oceanographic Museum is playing host to the fourth edition of its popular Fête du Musée on Saturday 23rd September from 10am to 7pm.
For the event, the Association of Friends of the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco (AAMOM) has organised a jam-packed programme for children aged three to 14, along with their families, who are all invited to come and discover the beauty and infinite pleasures of the marine world.
Inside the museum, various workshops, treasure hunts, craft sessions, musical theatre productions (11am and 3.30pm) and virtual reality experiences (12pm and 5.15pm) will get young minds interested and involved, while out on the square in front of the famous institution, kiosks will be set up on themes related to education and the environment.
These stands will include: appearances by AS Monaco Kid’s Tour, featuring team members; an adventure into “Penguin Country” with the Centre Scientifique de Monaco; Riviera Française and Natura 2000 with a space dedicated to the marine protected area in Cap Martin; an upcycling workshop by Sacrée Charlotte; Monaco’s Tourism Department with a space explaining greenhouse gases and their impacts; and the International Hydrography Organisation, which will be bringing along a fascinating selection of seafloor maps. There will also be a socca stand from La Socca Dance.
Whilst at the museum, take some time to check out the Polar Mission exhibition. This incredible interactive production covers life in both poles, how people and animals adapt to the extreme conditions, and historic and modern explorations and missions.
The AAMOM also is inviting people to come and sponsor a fish. For a contribution of at least €50, sponsors will receive a certificate formalising their relationship, an identity card of the chosen animal and unlimited access to the museum for a year for an adult and a child under 18.
Click here for more information.
Photo credit: M. Dagnino / Monaco Communications Department
An influx of non-European visitors, including an uptick in the number of Antipodean tourists, is partially to thank for a prosperous summer season in Monaco.
After an initial review of how well Monaco’s various venues and attractions had performed over the summer indicated record visitor numbers, such as the record-breaking Monet en Pleine Lumière exhibition at the Grimaldi Forum, the Monaco Tourism and Convention Department has released its official report on the 2023 summer tourist season, and the overall picture is rosy.
Occupancy rates in hotels are still down slightly on the prodigious pre-pandemic year of 2019, but they did hit an impressive 75% in July and 72% in August. This is primarily due to a high influx of tourists from the United States, the UK, Italy and France, who round out the Top Four nations who most visited the Principality.
“Monaco attracts a very good clientele,” says Monaco Tourism and Convention Department Director Guy Antognelli. “What we are seeing overall compared to 2019 is a growth in non-European customers, including a strong increase in the Middle East.”
Asian visitors have dipped in number, according to the data, but Antipodean tourists are somewhat making up for that.
“Japan has picked up this year, China is at just under 40% of the outbound tourism it had in 2019… It’s still a little complicated,” explains Antognelli. “Australians are present in [good] numbers in Monaco, an increase compared to 2019. These are markets with a promising future for the Principality. We will see them much more present in 2024.”
The Tourism Department is now looking ahead to the autumn, with several high-profile conventions and events on the horizon, amongst them Monaco Yacht Show, Assises de la Sécurité, Luxe Pack and Sportel.
“These are all major events, which are sold out and some of which will attract more participants than in previous editions,” assures Antognelli. “Requests for 2024, 2025 and 2026 are already pouring in. This proves that the Principality also remains attractive for business conferences and seminars.”
Photo credit: Manuel Vitali / Monaco Communications Department
Take a tour of the exhibition ‘Pablo Picasso & Antiquity’ at the Prince’s Palace with Monaco Life in our YouTube video below.
Images and production by Cassandra Tanti.
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Monaco has been integrated into a new phone app called App-Elles which provides rapid access to help for victims and witnesses of violence.
Monaco’s Committee for the Promotion and Protection of Women’s Rights has now established a partnership with the Résonantes association, which developed the personal security application ‘App-Elles’.
It is designed to save users time and help them more easily find emergency information and contacts in their area. All Monegasque resources in terms of security, assistance, advice and emergencies are therefore accessible in the app.
‘App-Elles’ also allows users to quickly alert and contact loved ones designated as trusted third parties in the app as well as all relevant institutions available in the territory. This alert system is easy to trigger, and records and shares a situation in real time with these third parties.
The application, which is free and available on all major app stores, is currently being used in 14 countries, including now the Principality of Monaco.
Information on the application will be relayed during workshops on 26th and 27th September at the Maison du Numérique located in the Jardins d’Apolline, at 1 Promenade Honoré II.
For more information, visit: https://www.maisondunumerique.mc/agenda/decouvrez-l-application-de-securite-personnelle-app-elles
Photo source: Monaco Government Communication Department
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