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Monaco Tribune

Prince Rainier III centenary: “May 31 was magical”
February 23rd

The Rainier III Centenary commemorations have come to an end. After a year of celebrations, Princess Stéphanie paid a final tribute to Prince Rainier III and looked back on 2023’s highlights. 

“It was even better than I could have imagined.”  Princess Stéphanie spoke about the past year to Monaco Info, in an interview that took place in the inner sanctum of the Prince’s Palace.

“It was a crazy gamble to organise commemorations over such a long period (…) We convinced everyone that it was a good idea, that we had to do it and show all the different facets of Prince Rainier (…) So people could learn about or rediscover him through his passions, and his first passion was Monaco,” said the Prince’s youngest child.

“My father loved spending time with the Monegasques, and the residents too.”

“The greatest gift was that everyone took part,”  Princess Stéphanie continued, referring to the day of 31 May 2023, when the Rock provided the backdrop for the launch of the commemorations.  “It was an incredible day,”  the Princess said, “seeing so many people turn out, everyone was in high spirits, young and old (…) My father loved spending time with the Monegasques, and the residents too. Every time there was an event, he would get everyone together, so it was very much in his image.”

The year featured many exhibitions in honour of Prince Rainier III, some of which are still running, as well as a host of projects and events such as a documentary in which the Sovereign tells his own story, and the staging of a play that he acted in as a young man. “Everything that happened went really well and was a success, so I can only be very happy and proud to have been able to do this for him,” Princess Stéphanie said with a smile, recalling fond memories of the “magical day on 31 May” in particular.

When I get involved in a project, I see it through.

When asked about her strong involvement in the different projects, the Princess replied that she has “perhaps inherited this character trait from [her] Dad … When I get involved in a project, I see it through, I give it my all so that it works out and is a success, in the same what that he never gave up.” The Princess had a special word for Albert Croesi, secretary of the Centenary Organising Committee, who passed away during the night of Friday 2 to Saturday 3 June 2023, at the age of 62. “ He left us too soon  (…) It was hard to carry on the commemorations without him. Without the enthusiasm and energy of Albert and his staff, we could never have achieved everything we did,”  concluded Princess Stephanie, visibly emotional.

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Monaco authorises maternity leave for self-employed
February 23rd

The bill was voted by the National Council on Thursday, February 22.

Bill 1.086 was tabled by the Government of Monaco three months ago. It was intended to introduce maternity leave for self-employed workers registered with the Caisse d’assurance maladie, accident et maternité des travailleurs indépendants (CAMTI – Monaco’s Sickness, Accident and Maternity Insurance Fund for Self-employed Workers). On Thursday, during a Public Legislative Session, the elected members of the National Council voted unanimously and without amendment in favour of the bill, “whose purpose is to afford the self-employed a right that has long been granted to private sector employees and civil servants and agents of the State and the Municipality,” the Prince’s Government stated.

“The bill represents a significant step forward, as it means equality at last for all pregnant women, whether they are in the private or public sector, or self-employed. From now on, all women can take maternity leave of at least 18 weeks,”  said Marine Hugonnet-Grisoul, appointed as rapporteur of the bill before the National Council. “Of course, our ambition would have been to go further by extending this leave to paternity leave for self-employed workers, as well as adoption leave,” she added.

Christophe Robino, Minister for Health and Social Affairs, welcomed the new reform, stressing that it “will further strengthen the social protection system of the Principality.”  He added that “the scheme will, in parallel, provide an additional tool of socio-economic attractiveness in a key sector for the country’s economy and competitiveness.”

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Monaco Economic Board sets sights on Saudi Arabia
February 23rd

The MEB’s business delegation will be heading for Riyadh tomorrow.

The Hôtel Méridien Beach Plaza hosted the 47th MEB Members’ Rendez-Vous on January 18. During the traditional networking event, which was attended by over 300 entrepreneurs, Michel Dotta, Chairman of the MEB, paid tribute to the work of Etienne Franzi at the head of the Association Monégasque des Activités Financières (AMAF). Etienne Franzi chaired the Monaco Association for Financial Activities for 25 years, before recently handing over to Robert Laure. Paying tribute to “remarkable work that has transformed an employers’ association into a veritable institution, an essential player in our economic landscape,”  Michel Dotta underlined the partnership between the AMAF and the MEB, specifying that the Association “is playing an active role in the tremendous effort that is underway to make the Principality a leading and well-respected financial centre.”

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Michel Dotta – © MEB / Sébastien Darrasse

The evening was also an opportunity to look at the MEB’s ‘diary’, and more specifically the upcoming economic mission to Riyadh from 23 to 27 January.  “We are heading to Saudi Arabia, and we are already very proud of the number of companies involved,” Guillaume Rose, Executive Director of the MEB, told Monaco Info. 47 companies and 62 individuals in fact, the Monaco Economic Board’s biggest foreign delegation for years! During the trip, and following on from the relatively recent connections made between the Kingdom and our Sovereign, we aim to establish lasting economic relations with Saudi Arabia. The appointment book is already full for our companies!”

Several networking sessions are planned in the Saudi capital, as well as attendance of the Riyadh E-Prix. The MEB will also be travelling to Morocco from 16 to 19 April, then to London from 10 to 13 June. Conversely, delegations of Tunisian and Austrian entrepreneurs will be visiting the Principality on 22 February and 18 April respectively.

Handipact: Companies urged to take action

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Lionel Galfré – © MEB / Sébastien Darrasse

Lionel Galfré, the Government’s technical advisor on people with disabilities, was also invited to speak at the event. The former Director of MonacoTech pointed out that people with disabilities are workers and consumers like everyone else, and called on businesses to join forces with the Government, which is aiming to make Monaco a centre of excellence in terms of inclusion thanks to the recently launched “Handipact” initiative.

“The Government wants to put Handipact in place to ensure inclusion and consideration of disability in Monaco, so that the Principality is a place where disability is a natural and accepted part of society. Companies have a pivotal role to play in the project, because work is central, social existence comes through work, so the role of companies is very important“, he told Monaco Info.

A new Premium membership package

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Guillaume Rose – © MEB / Sébastien Darrasse

Guillaume Rose also took the opportunity of the Members’ Rendez-Vous to announce a new membership structure for the MEB. From now on, companies will be able to choose between two types: Classic or Premium.

The new Premium package provides six additional benefits over the Classic version:

  • Up to five people, instead of two, can take part in events and activities organised by the MEB (subject to availability).
  • Priority registration for all events and activities.
  • Exclusive annual events for Premium members only.
  • Priority allocation for invitations that the MEB receives through one of its partners (events, trade fairs, etc.).
  • The opportunity to feature in a new section of the MEB website: “Our Premium Companies”. Each Premium member will have a dedicated page to communicate on, using a pre-defined template.
  • Support from the MEB communications team regarding contacts with the local media.

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Ecoletopie: satisfactory initial results from teaching experiment
February 23rd

In an experiment called Ecoletopie – which translates roughly as ‘Schooltopia’ – Saint-Charles school has been testing a new classroom layout since September.

Bouncy seating, giant cushions and mobile tables have replaced traditional classroom furniture. The tables are now arranged in a ‘U’ shape and large pillows are placed in the centre. The scheme, which has been running since September, is in partnership with the New National Museum of Monaco (NMNM), the Department of National Education, Youth and Sport (DENJS) and the Prince Albert II Foundation. The new furniture has already won over the CM1 pupils and their teachers at Saint-Charles school. Interviewed by Monaco Info, James, a pupil, said:  “We’re free to do pretty much what we want on the furniture and it makes us feel good.”

The experiment came to an end on Wednesday 21 February, in the presence of the partners’ representatives  – © Communication Department / Manuel Vitali  

In designing the space, the Smarin design studio focused primarily on the sitting position. Designer Stephanie Marin said on state television, “We designed bouncy seats, so that the children would have a little more gestural freedom to express themselves with. The idea being that it would have a positive knock-on effect, rather than them being restless.”

The staff are also already seeing a positive impact on school work. “The environment encourages cooperative teaching methods,”  teacher Sylvie De Almeida told Monaco Info. “When the children have finished, they can still be mobile… they can go and sit on the cushions. The appeal of sitting on a cushion makes even the non-bookworms want to read, and we’ve had very good results, much better than with traditional furniture,” she said.

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SBM’s Syndicat des Jeux Européens supports two of the Principality’s organisations.
February 22nd

Two cheques for €2,500 were awarded to Fight Aids Monaco and the Scientific Centre of Monaco.

The donations by the Syndicat des Jeux Européens (SJE – European Gaming Union) were handed over on Tuesday 20 February on the steps of the Casino de Monte-Carlo. This year, the SBM shareholder decided to support two major players in the fight against and research into serious diseases, the Monaco Scientific Centre (CSM) and Fight Aids Monaco.

In a spirit of “solidarity and sharing,”  the SJE donated a part of the dividends received from the SBM to the two organisations. “[the SJE] is an SBM shareholder and it passes [dividends] on each year to charitable concerns,” Roman Aureglia, chef de table at the Casino de Monte-Carlo, told Monaco Info.

A donation for research

The paediatric brain cancer research carried out in the Medical Biology department at the CSM requires significant equipment and investment. “Our team is developing very innovative study models based on state-of-the-art technologies and techniques,”  said Dr Vincent Picco.

“This new donation by the Syndicat des Jeux Européens  will help us complete the genetic characterisation of the models we are developing in the laboratory,  which allow us to establish a correspondence with what is happening in children. Their renewed support is a great incentive for our team and our strategy, a sign of confidence in our work,” said the Doctor.

Supporting HIV-positive individuals

The Fight Aids Monaco charity, founded by Princess Stéphanie in 2004, will be inviting its members to meet up on June 25, 2024. “This generous donation will directly benefit the people we support in this our 20th anniversary year.  It means we can organise a day-long event for our members,” said Christophe Glasser, the charity’s Coordinator.

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“Bleu Pastor” celebrates Monegasque painter Philippe Pastor
February 22nd

In collaboration with the Princess Charlene Foundation, the Robilant + Voena art gallery has agreed to promote the artist’s work in Saint-Moritz, Switzerland.

“Bleu Pastor” is entirely dedicated to Philippe Pastor’s artworks. Talented and committed to environmental causes, the Monegasque artist has toured the world. His works are an ideal marriage of art and action at the renowned Swiss art gallery, for its second exhibition of the season. The Princess Charlene Foundation has also joined the project, in order to continue its fight against drowning and to promote a sustainable future for children, through art.

© Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation

Raising global awareness through works of art

The colour blue, Pastor’s symbol, shines out in 15 paintings on display at the Forum Paracelsus, an ancient religious and healing institution built on mineral springs. Carrying an even stronger message, his series of sculptures ‘Les Arbres Brûlés’ (Burnt Trees), has been set up just a stone’s throw away, in the luxurious Suvretta House hotel. Five of them are also on show at “Bleu Pastor”.

© Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation

One of today’s leading artist-activists

The artist is also the founder of the Art & Environnement non-profit, launched in 2007 by Prince Albert II and the late Professor Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. Committed to defending and preserving our planet’s heritage, Pastor and his art continue to campaign all over the world.

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Monaco to host ‘Association de la Sommellerie Internationale’ General Assembly
February 22nd

The art of sommellerie (wine waiting) will be celebrated in the Principality from 22 to 25 February. 

No fewer than 50 countries will be represented at the event, through national sommelier guilds and the attendance of a number of renowned sommeliers. In fact it is Monaco’s national guild, L’Association Monégasque des Sommeliers, that is organising this edition of the ASI’s General Assembly, led by its president-delegate Dominique Milardi. The edition will also mark the 55th anniversary of the ASI.

In an interview with the specialist media Terre de Vins, Dominique Milardi discussed the programme of debates in store. “The specific themes are not yet decided, but we will no doubt address international concerns, with the impact of climate change on wine growing, the evolution of wine markets, combatting counterfeiting, etc. The theme of education too, with best practices in sommelier training, and updating learning programmes using new technologies.”

On the ‘wine menu’ for the four-day event: a gala dinner at the Hotel de Paris, a conference on the theme of climate, a practical wine tasting workshop, and a tour of the “Rossese di Dolceacqua” in Isolabonna.

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Carnival fun on Place d’Armes
February 22nd

Around a hundred children took part in the event organised by Monaco Town Council.

Entertainment, confetti and face painting all contributed to a festive atmosphere at the La Condamine market. Monaco Town Council organised a free, open-air winter carnival for children on Wednesday 21 February. Jugglers, contortionists, tightrope walkers, balloon twisters and make-up artists were on hand to entertain the youngsters in among the stalls on the Place d’Armes.

“It’s the first time we’ve organised a winter carnival in Monaco,”  said Christelle Costa from the Council’s events department.  “Our elected representative, Axelle Amalberti-Verdino, first had the idea of the carnival, it’s something she was keen to introduce,”  she added. And the Place d’Armes wasn’t the only venue for the event, with another part taking place at the Monte-Carlo Market.

Wonder and amusement

The children’s faces were all smiles. Many of them were in awe of the artists’ performances. Thomas, who was particularly interested in the jugglers, came along with his grandfather Marco. Dressed in his Pikachu costume, he said in a shy little voice while he was at the face-painting stand, “I’m glad I came.”

The make-up stand is a must if you want the complete fancy dress experience  – © Monaco Tribune

Children in fancy dress certainly got into the carnival spirit, like Zackari in his Spiderman costume. He waited impatiently for his friends. His mum, Rania, said, “He loves Carnival and it’s a great opportunity to dress up, he loves Spiderman.” And Zackari wasn’t the only one with spider powers at the La Condamine market – around a dozen children had the same idea.

A little further on, mini pirates, princesses and superheroes excitedly chased the giant bubbles. In front of them, Kristina, an English-speaking nanny, watched over a handful of toddlers. She loved the event. “It’s a good idea, I know it’s the first time, and it’s a success,”  she said, “I can tell the children are happy, so I’m happy too.”

Mr. Blue Sky turned up too – © Monaco Tribune

At the other end of the square, near the balloon twister, John liked the idea and thought the location was well-chosen, saying “the atmosphere of the Place d’Armes is great. It’s a bit confined with the market on though. But the wonderful weather is certainly with us, which is great,”  he added. One little cloud in an otherwise bright blue sky, he found that the activities were not best suited to his 11-year-old son. Despite being billed as a festive event for all ages, the activities seem to be more of interest to the youngest visitors.

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WEC: Vista AF Corse Ferraris’ livery supports Princess Charlene Foundation
February 22nd

The Italian stable unveiled the two Ferrari 296s that will take part in the World Endurance Championship (WEC), including the 24 Heures du Mans, at Milan Linate airport. 

A special feature this season will be the inclusion of the Princess Charlene Foundation’s logo on the two vehicles that will be driven by Thomas Flohr, Chairman of Vista Jet, the world leader in private jet hire, and Francesco Castellacci.

Charles Leclerc and Gareth Wittstock present

As part of the partnership between the two entities, a donation will be made for every point the team wins during the championship, to help promote a healthy lifestyle and sporting values, with a particular emphasis on children’s safety.

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Gareth Wittstock and Charles Leclerc were present in Milan (Photo © Vista Jet)

Gareth Wittstock, General Secretary of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, attended the presentation, along with Charles Leclerc and world high jump champion Mutaz Barshim, both ambassadors for the Foundation.

The Endurance World Championship kicks off on March 2 in Qatar.

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All the 2024 season’s drivers together (Photo © Vista Jet)

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Is Nice airport romantic? Apparently so!
February 22nd

According to the ranking published by travel website Kayak.fr, Nice is the fourth most romantic airport in France.

Need time for goodbyes before taking off? Don’t worry, the drop-off zone at Nice airport is one of the most generous with passengers before the big departure, according to the travel website Kayak.fr. Offering 15 minutes’ free parking, it ranks behind Lyon (20 minutes), Marseille and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

But do travellers agree?

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Monaco Matin

Ligue 1: Singo, Majecki et Balogun sont titulaires pour la rencontre entre le RC Lens et l'AS Monaco
February 25th

Wilfried Singo est aligné dans le onze de départ de l'AS Monaco pour la première fois en 2024, ce dimanche à Lens (13h), où les Monégasques vont tenter de reprendre leur place sur le podium de Ligue 1 (23e journée). L'Ivoirien, vainqueur de la Coupe d'Afrique puis blessé, est très attendu pour solidifier une défense en difficulté. Radoslaw Majecki et Folarin Balogun débutent aussi. C'est une surprise pour le portier polonais.

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Monaco Life

CFM Indosuez extends its support for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo with renewed partnership
February 25th

With the signing of a new multi-year agreement, wealth management specialists CFM Indosuez and Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo are set to continue a long-standing partnership that already spans more than 25 years.

CFM Indosuez Wealth Management has officially renewed its partnership with and support for the La Compagnie des Ballets de Monte-Carlo by signing a new three-year agreement that will last from 2024 to 2026.

Following the announcement, Jean-Christophe Maillot, the Choreographer-Director of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and who is pictured to the right of Princess Caroline of Monaco, remarked, “25 years of unwavering support, once again renewed, is unique and exceptional in the Principality of Monaco, particularly in the current climate. CFM Indosuez gives us the means to innovate in the art of choreography with Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Our relationship is based on deep mutual trust. This is precious to us and explains why CFM Indosuez is our longest-standing official partner.”

Mathieu Ferragut, the CEO of CFM Indosuez Wealth Management, has also shared his enthusiasm for the continued partnership, saying, “The internationally recognised quality of La Compagnie des Ballets de Monte-Carlo is a source of pride for the Principality. For CFM Indosuez, it is an honour and a pleasure to continue our 25 years of support. This three-year renewal of our partnership is perfectly in line with the Indosuez group’s ambition to promote excellence, know-how and passion, and to support talent. We look forward to many more years of shared history with the Ballets de Monte-Carlo.”

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, a historic artistic and cultural institution in Monaco that has been revitalised over the last four decades thanks to the enduring support of Princess Caroline, has gained substantial international recognition under Maillot’s direction. La Compagnie is uniquely positioned in Monaco to combine the creation, teaching and showcasing of world-level ballet in its many forms under one roof.

Explore Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s upcoming schedule here.

 

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Photo credit: Alice Blangero

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Junk Kouture World Final 2023: Irish design #TagMe triumphs in Monaco
February 24th

Making its Monaco debut, the recent Junk Kouture event at the Grimaldi Forum dazzled with a fusion of global talent and sustainability, and put a spotlight on a collective creative journey towards an eco-friendlier fashion future.

Founded by Troy Armour, the first Monaco-based Junk Kouture competition was held on 22nd February.

It was an international showcase of creativity and dedication to environmental sustainability that was judged by an eclectic panel featuring the likes of fashion designer Stephen McLaughlin, content creator and model Lise Pierron, and Junk Kouture 2019 winner Lara-Jane Doherty. Hosting duties were managed by TV and radio presenter Louise Cantillon and TG4’s Daragh Ó Caoimh.

Event highlights

It was the official World Final of the Junk Kouture concept and championed innovative talents from across the globe. Six designers were honoured as the ‘Designer of the Year’ for their respective countries: Bubblefish from Paris, Medias Jiometri from London, Mother of Poison from New York, Bloody Mary from Milan, War of Woman from Abu Dhabi, and Dublin’s own #TagMe.

The Irish entry – ‘#TagMe’ by Eva Donlon, Evie Nugent and Méabh O’Shea from Moate Community School – won the ‘World Designer of the Year’ title. Their design, made from over 2,500 repurposed plastic colour samples to limit landfill waste, perfectly captured the competition’s focus on sustainability and creative reuse. Upon receiving the award, Donlon said, “Everyone who partook in the creation of this piece is a winner tonight.”

Representing the French Riviera, Vega Beroud of the International School of Nice, presented an eco-conscious design called From Coastline to Waistline that was inspired by the beaches of the south of France and was constructed from recycled materials.

Beroud shared her motivation for the collection, saying, “Our goal was to capture the essence of the south of France, bringing its sunshine and coastlines into the competition”.

Her design won the ‘Performance Award’ that had been backed by the Kate Powers Foundation.

A special mention goes to Tonnes of Tradition by Aisha Khan, Khadija Bibi and Harjass Kau of Coláiste Nano Nagle, Limerick, which won the ‘Cultural Couture Award’ that had been judged by the International School of Monaco. Their garment blended European and Asian influences, and was crafted from upcycled materials such as eco-friendly wool and curtains, as well as featuring 400 hand-sewn triangles on recycled bed sheets. It was hailed as a piece demonstrating a rich cultural tapestry.

 

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Left to right: Bloody Mary, Bubblefish, #TagMe, Mother of Poison, Medias Jiometri, War of Woman. Photo by Monaco Life

 

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MoNa Residence: proving that opulence and sustainability can go hand in hand
February 24th

Welcome to the world of MoNa, a remarkable eco-friendly marvel nestled in the heart of Monaco. With an innovative blend of luxury and sustainability, this residence building offers a unique living experience that is both opulent and environmentally conscious.

MoNa Residence, delivered by the Groupe Michel Pastor in September 2021, is defined by its unique wallflower design that was inspired by the name of the street in which it stands – Rue des Giroflées. Located in the east of Monaco, it sits above the Principality city and towers 22 floors high.

Inside, the building is decorated with the finest materials: Calacatta Caldia white marble, light oak, glass and brushed brass. It is a harmonious symphony of elegance from the bespoke lobby to the penthouses, all imagined by internationally renowned designer Oraïto, whose aim was to “create a true sensory experience”.

The curved building is not only aesthetically pleasing, it is useful for conserving energy

Each of the 66 apartments offer jaw-dropping views of the Mediterranean Sea and a perception of being suspended between light and air, thanks to Architects Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Rainier Boisson.

But it is deep in the foundations of this 86-metre-high tower where the true magic lies.

Below the state-of-art sauna and heated indoor pool hides an innovative network that feeds geothermal energy to the towering structure above. Combined with the building’s solar panels and rainwater harvesting system, MoNa is almost completely energy self-sufficient.

Sustainable luxury: exceptional residences redefining eco-living

MoNa Residence manages to achieve environmental sustainability without compromising on the quality of life. The building was constructed with eco-friendly materials, including recycled steel and concrete with low CO2 emissions.

Meanwhile, the interiors are decorated with eco-friendly materials, such as natural wood and stone, which not only add to the aesthetic appeal but also reduce the use of harmful chemicals. The developers made a point to source as many building materials locally as possible, and from sustainable sources.

The MoNa Residence has also implemented smart technology to optimise energy efficiency, such as motion sensors to control lighting and temperature.

The result is a luxurious living space that is not only beautiful but also eco-friendly.

Mobile shutters allows residents to control the amount of sunshine that enters the apartment without compromising on light

Cutting-edge technology for energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is at the core of operations at MoNa Residence. The luxury complex is fitted with cutting-edge technology that helps to reduce energy consumption while maintaining a comfortable living experience for residents.

The building’s façade has been designed to maximise natural light, which minimises the need for artificial lighting during the day. The large, circular balconies serve as a “basketball cap” of sorts, shielding the interior from the direct sunshine that is generated 300 days of the year here in the Principality of Monaco, while movable shutters make it also possible to control the sunlight.

Smart sensors are used throughout the building to regulate temperature and lighting automatically, sensitive to occupancy and external conditions.

The air conditioning system is equipped with heat recovery units that extract heat from exhaust air and use it to preheat incoming fresh air. The building is able to maintain a constant temperature of 26°C in the summer months, and 20°C in the winter months, with a real feel of around 23°C.

Residents also have access to a mobile app that allows them to monitor their energy consumption in real-time, encouraging them to make more conscious decisions about their energy usage.

All these innovative measures help MoNa Residence to achieve an impressive energy efficiency rating, and make it a model for sustainable living in Monaco.

The solar panels, geothermal energy loop and rainwater harvesting system make MoNa almost completely energy self-sufficient

BREEAM Certification: a first in continental Europe

The MoNa Residence has been recognised for its energy efficiency and climate goals, receiving several awards for its sustainable design and practices. Among the highest, it achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first residential project in continental Europe to receive BREEAM certification at the ‘Excellent’ level. BREEAM, which stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, is a globally recognised sustainability assessment system for buildings. But it is certainly not a template.

“The regulation tells you how the performance of your building must be, but it doesn’t tell you how to achieve that,” says Serge Ginesy, Head of Sustainable Development Division at Groupe Michel Pastor. “So, there is a lot of work to do in designing the technical assets to choose the best way to reach the performance you want to reach.”

The key to achieving a successful sustainable building, says Ginesy, is team work, and a constant dialogue between all the players.

“All of the developers need to work together to achieve the same goals – to create something that is aesthetically pleasing, reaches sustainability goals, and meets the high standards that Monaco residents expect.”

The geothermal loop draws energy from the earth to power the building

Using the earth for energy

The building’s innovative measures include the use of geothermal energy for heating and cooling. For this, wells are dug in the first stages of the project to access hot steam and water contained in the underground. Upon rising to the surface, this heat is used to drive turbines that generate electricity.

The complicated task thereafter is knowing how to manage the building, to maximise the technology and to reduce energy usage as much as possible.

It is not possible to source geothermal energy for every building in Monaco, but there are some others utilising this technology, such as the Tour Odéon, La Petite Afrique and Villa Engelin.

For most sites in the Principality, the ocean is used to harvest thermal energy. The Principality now has more than 80 such water pumps operating throughout this coastal nation. With a complete ban on oil fuels for heating currently in force in Monaco, clean and green energy sources are an important energy solution in the Principality.

But MoNa undoubtedly serves as inspiration for pushing the envelope. Together with the solar panels and rainwater recovery system, MoNa has managed to significantly reduced its carbon footprint and become almost completely energy-efficient. It is an exciting lesson in innovation and proves that opulence and sustainability really can go hand in hand.

Read related:

MoNa Restaurant: where familiarity meets flair in new luxury residence building

 

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Photos courtesy of Michel Pastor Groupe

 

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Looking back at a year of Prince Rainier III centenary celebrations
February 23rd

In honour of the final meeting of the Committee for the Commemorations of the Centenary of the Birth of Prince Rainier III on 20th February, we take a look back at the main events that punctuated a very special year for Monaco.

It has been a full nine months of homages, dedications and celebrations of the late Prince Rainier III in commemoration of what would have been his 100th birthday. The events have run the gamut between intimate, solemn, fun-filled and deeply touching with one thing abundantly clear throughout – the trailblazing and extremely modern Prince, who reigned for 56 years, was much-adored by his people and his family.

As it all comes to a close, Monaco Life is looking back on the standout celebrations and events held in tribute to this extraordinary man.

Official celebrations in the Palace Square. Photo source: Prince’s Palace

The kick off

The celebrations started on 31st May 2023, what would have been Prince Rainier’s 100th birthday, with a party at the Prince’s Palace on the Rock. Music, dancing and general merriment punctuated the all-day and evening event and a showcase of vehicles from the Rainier-inspired Prince’s Car Collection were trotted out, with some members of the Princely family taking turns behind the wheel.

Prince Albert, Princess Charlene and their children in a car from the Prince’s Car Collection, a project initiated by Prince Rainier III, on 31st May 2023. Photo source: Prince’s Palace

The commemorations continued with a series of lectures, films, exhibitions and concerts, including a gala hosted by the Rainier III Academy on 14th June featuring students accompanied by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra.

This was followed in July by the premiere of a documentary by Yann-Antony Noghes called Rainier III par Lui-Même and an exhibition entitled Rainer III, The Builder Prince, tracking the Prince’s commitment to modernising his state: physically, politically and economically.

Prince Albert with Princess Stephanie, her son Louis Ducruet and Lara Terlizzi-Enza, Director of the Office of Postage Stamp Issues, during the presentation of the €50 gold commemorative coin. Photo credit: Frederic Nebinger, Communication Department

Some other highlights include the minting of a €2 coin, as well as a €50 gold commemorative coin in his honour, musical shows featuring classical music and his beloved jazz, performances of his favourite ballets by the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, and a fun and well-received window decoration competition.

One of the biggest events was the Bal du Centenaire at the Casino on 20th October. Prince Albert and Princess Stephanie headed up the gala evening, that included a private performance by Leona Lewis on the stage of the Opera de Monte-Carlo.

Prince Albert II and Princess Stephanie dancing at the Centenary Ball in the Opera Garnier of the Casino de Monte-Carlo. Photo source: Monte-Carlo SBM

In November, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene inaugurated two canons from 1881 that have been recommissioned specially to mark the centenary of the birth of the late Prince Rainier III.

As 2023 came to an end, the annual Christmas Village, this year entitled Rainier III, Passionate Prince, was dedicated to him as well, featuring scenes decorated with photos of the Prince enjoying the things he loved most: motor sports, the arts, animals and the sea.

monaco cannons
Prince Albert and Princess Charlene officially inaugurated the recommissioning of two cannons in November. Photo credit: Eric Mathon / Palais Princier de Monaco

But it’s not over just yet. The exhibition Un Prince, Un Musée (One Prince, One Museum) will br running until 31st March at the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology.

SEE ALSO:

Prince Albert and Princess Stéphanie give glimpse into life with father Prince Rainier III

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March to be Video Game Month at the Médiathèque de Monaco
February 23rd

Throughout the month of March, the Médiathèque de Monaco will be hosting a series of video game-themed events, including tournaments, exhibitions and movie screenings.

It may be hard to imagine, but mainstream video games have been around for five decades now. The first games from back in the 1970s were much less sophisticated affairs than today’s, with simple tennis-style games like Pong dominating the market. A few years later came the explosively popular Pac-Man and Space Invaders, games that really did take the world by storm. 

The gaming world of 2024 is incredibly refined by those standards, with hi-tech advances in imagery and interactivity allowing gamers to enjoy experiences far beyond what was even imaginable in the early days. 

To celebrate this rich alt-world, the Louis Notari Library, the Princess Caroline Library and the José Notari Video-Sound Library will be hosting a series of events focused entirely on video games next month.  

Enthusiasts can attend video game-themed workshops, conferences, screenings, exhibitions and concerts, and there will even be a tournament headed up by The Nice Geek for the more competitive players. 

In all, 19 events will take place over the course of the month. The full programme is available here as well as all the information you need on how to sign up for specific events.  

 

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Photo source: Jeshoots.com, Unsplash  

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How much is the maritime sector worth in Monaco? €1.8 billion to be exact
February 23rd

For the very first time, the real and quantifiable economic impact of Monaco’s maritime sector has been revealed in an official report, confirming the enormous value of this industry in a Principality that “cannot exist without the sea”. 

The sea has been a feature of daily life in Monaco since the very beginning. It is possible that the Principality owes its name to passing Phoenicians of the Ancient Mediterranean, who are believed to have stopped off in its natural harbours sometime around 1,700BCE and brought their style of civilisation to the Ligurian tribes who likely lived in the area.  

In the millennia that followed, fishing boats would have been the most dominant crafts floating in the port, but today they have been largely replaced by sleek sailboats, luxurious motor yachts, giant cruise ships and vessels destined for international waters the world over. 

See more: How did Monaco’s Port Hercule get its name?

In early February, the most important regional players in the yachting industry gathered at the Yacht Club de Monaco for the annual La Belle Classe Superyachts Business Symposium.

A platform for discussion on the trends, influences and challenges of the sector in Monaco and in the French Riviera, this year’s edition also provided Pascal Ferry and Benjamin Cauquil, the deputy director and research manager of IMSEE, with the perfect opportunity to present the statistical agency’s first ever compilation of data on the Principality’s maritime and yachting sectors.  

Understanding the maritime industry 

As explained in the report, Monaco’s maritime economy encompasses all activities that cannot exist without the sea, from trade and design to naval consultancy, repair and maintenance, legal services relating to maritime law, and fisheries and aquaculture, among others. 

In 2022, the year from which the data was gathered, the maritime industry in Monaco was made up of 635 establishments representing a range of major economic sectors. The largest share belonged to the wholesale trade sector, followed by scientific and technical activities, then transportation and storage.  

There were 15 companies dedicated to financial and insurance activities, nine handling retail trade, nine running affiliated information and communications businesses, and six construction entities.  

Combined, these 635 businesses represented 3,268 employees and generated €1.8 billion in revenue in 2022 – almost 10% of the overall revenue produced in Monaco that year.  

Yachting, a thriving sector 

The yachting industry is considered a sub-sector of the maritime economy in the report, but accounted for 411 of the afore-mentioned maritime businesses, equating to 3.7% of all companies registered in Monaco, and employed just shy of 1,500 salaried workers.

The largest sector was, again, wholesale trade. Almost one in two yachting businesses recorded in the report were linked to this area of expertise, with a particular weight given to those involved in the sale of vessels.  

Of the €567.1 million generated by the yachting sector in 2022, close to €310 million was produced by the wholesale trade sector. This influence was summarised in the report as being “largely thanks to the agents involved in the sale of ships, who generate more than half of the yachting turnover: €288.6 million or 50.9%”.  

Other yachting sectors highlighted in the report: the scientific and technical activities sector, which generated €84.7 million, with €21.2 million deriving from specialist design services; and the transportation and storage sector, the second-largest after wholesale trade with a 17.8% share of total revenue. This sub-sector includes services such as chartering and transportation organisation (€43.6 million), sea and coastal passenger water transportation (€47.1 million) and service activities incidental to water transportation (€47.1 million).  

Monaco’s role in the regional yachting scene

Alongside the presentation of the IMSEE report, a number of enlightening insights into Monaco’s role in the broader yachting industry of the French Riviera were also revealed. It is estimated that the yachting sector in the ‘Région Sud’ brought in €1.1 billion during 2022, meaning that the Principality contributed close to half of this total.  

Alluding to the positive changes behind made by Monaco’s own yachting industry, namely in the realm of environmental practice, François de Canson, the president of the Regional Tourism Committee, said, “We must embody the yachting of tomorrow, as it is in the Western Mediterranean where everything happens, is invented and implemented. It’s by combining forces with the Principality that we will rise to these challenges, while ensuring we maintain our attractiveness and continue to develop this sector in our region.” 

To read the report for yourself, click here.

Read related:

YCM inaugurates green hydrogen pontoon, plunging further into sustainable yachting

 

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Main photo credit: Yacht Club de Monaco

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Maternity leave rights extended to independent workers in Monaco
February 23rd

In a landmark decision, the Conseil National has voted in a new law enshrining maternity rights for Monaco’s independent workforce.  

The government-inspired bill was presented to the Council just three months ago.

On 22nd February, it became law following a unanimous decision by Council members, without amendment, to offer the same benefits enjoyed by public and private sector employees to independent workers affiliated with Monaco’s Caisse d’Assurance Maladie, Accident et Maternité des Travailleurs Indépendants (CAMTI).  

A full breakdown of the rights accorded to pregnant women and new mothers in Monaco can be found here.

A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT

A collaborative effort between the CAMTI Control Committee, representatives of the Government and the Monaco Social Funds, the new scheme was created not only to benefit independent workers, but to improve the system in general.  

According to Government Advisor-Minister of Social Affairs and Health Christophe Robino, the reforms “will make it possible to further strengthen the social protection system of the Principality”. 

“This system will constitute, at the same time, an additional tool of socio-economic attractiveness in a key sector for the economy and competitiveness of the country,” he said.   

The CAMTI scheme is the latest measure in a series of forward-thinking policies being instituted by the government, such as the establishment of family allowances under CAMTI, the legal sharing of leave among colleagues, and the extension of maternity and paternity leave to all workers, regardless of the sector they work in. 

In the coming weeks and months, a further text on parental leave rights for private law employers is due to be discussed by the Conseil National.  

 

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Photo source: Camylla Battani, Unsplash

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Monaco Oceanographic Institute and AWI join forces to save polar wildlife
February 23rd

In a landmark collaboration aimed at preserving the fragile ecosystems of polar regions, the Monaco Oceanographic Institute and the Alfred Wegener Institute have forged a strategic alliance. The partnership, inaugurated in the presence of Prince Albert II of Monaco, signifies a profound commitment to scientific cooperation and public engagement in the realm of polar, marine, and coastal conservation.

Against the backdrop of the prestigious Polar Symposium hosted by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Oceanographic Institute and Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) penned a historic Memorandum of Understanding on 22nd February.

The AWI conducts research in the polar regions, and provides ships such as the research icebreaker Polarstern, as well as stations to the international scientific community.

This agreement pledges a concerted joint effort over the next five years to advance research, protection, and public awareness initiatives crucial for safeguarding polar biodiversity.

It will include collaborative research projects, the organisation of scientific events, and the exchange of information useful for research.

Shaping the future of polar conservation

The partnership strengthens the actions already being jointly undertaken by the Oceanographic Institute and AWI in supporting the creation of Marine Protected Areas.

An engagement journey organised by the Oceanographic Institute to the Antarctic Peninsula welcomed several scientists on board, facilitating the collection of data on the Danger Islands archipelago, a rarely visited part of the peninsula. This data: biological, ecological, topographical, and pollution-related, will be valuable to AWI and will contribute to discussions surrounding the creation of a Specially Protected Area of Antarctica (SPAA) on the Danger Islands, home to one of the largest penguin colonies in the world.

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Photo: Prince Albert II of Monaco with, from left to right, Robert Calcagno (Director General of the Oceanographic Institute), Timm A. Bergold (Honorary Consul of Germany in the Principality of Monaco), Prof. Dr Antje Boetius (Director of the Alfred Wegener AWI Institute), Henry Burgess (President of the International Arctic Science Committee IASC) and Cyril Gomez (Deputy Director General of the Oceanographic Institute). Source: Monaco Oceanographic Institute

SEE ALSO:

Monaco Ocean Week 2024: A quest for viable and achievable solutions

 

 

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New features at Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters 2024
February 22nd

Discover what’s new at the 2024 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, including ‘click & collect’ dining and a new broadcasting partnership.

The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters tennis tournament is set to return from 6th to 14th April at the courts of the Monte-Carlo Country Club.

The 2023 tournament saw impressive figures, with over 140,000 attendees, 38.4 million television viewers, and 167.1 million social media views. This year aims to build on that success with several new features designed to enhance the spectator experience. These include the introduction of a ‘click & collect’ service for fast food, modifications to the seaside stands of the Court Rainier III to accommodate additional boxes, a new covered dining area, and a fresh broadcasting partnership with France Télévisions. This partnership will see one match per day aired on the france.tv platform and the final broadcast on France 4, complementing the comprehensive coverage provided by Eurosport France.

Additionally, the tournament will continue its support for the GEMLUC association (Group of Monégasque Enterprises in the Fight Against Cancer), which funds research and cutting-edge technology.

The final list of participating players is slated to be revealed in Paris on 12th March during a press conference, with ticket sales already approaching 130,000.

Organised by the Monégasque Company for the Operation of the Tennis Tournament (S.M.E.T.T.), the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters marks the first Masters 1000 event of the clay court season, setting the stage for the summer tennis season on the French Riviera.

The draw will take place on 5th April at 6pm;

Read also: Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters: Will this year beat a monumental 2023? – Monaco Life

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Photo by Monaco Life

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Trenitalia announces plans for two new train lines through the south of France
February 22nd

Two new train links between Italy and the south of France are in the works: one from Milan to Nice via Monaco and a second through the mountains of the Mercantour to the city of Turin. Here are the details we know so far. 

The Covid pandemic brought an unfortunate end of the popular Thello train route from the south of France to Milan, but it has now been revealed that Trenitalia is keen to revive the service with the support of France’s SNCF network. 

By summer, the Milan to Marseille journey could be a daily occurrence. Although the specific stops along the route are yet to be confirmed, it is very likely that both Nice and Monaco will feature as well as Ventimiglia.  

A scenic link to Turin from Nice via Breil-sur-Roya is also in the works and could be operational by summer 2025. The concept is a service similar to the famous Ferroviaire del Bernina express line from St. Moritz in Switzerland to Tirano in Northern Italy, which offers passengers spell-binding views of the Alps thanks to panoramic carriages.  

CROSS-BORDER ALLIANCE 

The reopening of the Milan connection and the launch new mountain route is something Italy, Monaco and France are keen on. Cross-border tourism benefits all three, and a meeting was held in the Ligurian town of Imperia earlier this month to launch an alliance.  

“Alone, we cannot necessarily release significant resources [to run these lines],” long-time Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi told the press. “Joining our forces will allow us to better finance projects, with very precise timetables.” 

 

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Photo source of the Bernina Express: Andreas Stutz

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