Freddie Mercury’s private collections to be auctioned by Sotheby’s

freddie mercury auction

The private collections of stage costumes, personal items and handwritten lyrics belonging to legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury are being exhibited and later auctioned by Sotheby’s this summer.  

Fans of the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury will now have a chance to own a piece of the star thanks to an exhibition and auction being presented by Sotheby’s between June and September. 


In total, there will be six different auctions. The first is on 6th September with a live sale featuring a cross-section of some of the collection’s most significant pieces. Two more live events follow on 7th and 8th September: the first will be dedicated to the singer’s on-stage persona and the second to his home life.  

Three online sales will run alongside these events. One will focus on his deep love of all things Japanese, and the other two are entitled “Crazy Little Things”, using the title of one of his band’s most popular hit songs and featuring everyday objects that the singer purchased to adorn his home.  

“Freddie Mercury’s sensational life has left us with a rich array of artistic moments that still move and astound us, a legacy that, like his music, will live on forever,” said Oliver Barker, the chairman of Sotheby’s Europe. “As Sotheby’s is transformed into the stage for this remarkable collection, the focus will be as much on Freddie Mercury the showman, celebrating everything we already know about him, as on discovering his less well-known private artistic passions.” 

Some standout pieces will include the elaborate military-style jacket he wore to his 39th birthday party in 1985, with an estimated sale price of £10,000 to £15,000 (€11,000 to €17,000), and the handwritten lyrics worked on by the singer for the Queen hit “We are the Champions”, which is expected to fetch £200,000 to £300,000 (€225,000 to €339,000).  

There will also be a replica of the St. George Crown he wore along with a red velvet faux-fur lined cloak at the last live show Queen played together in 1986. Sale prices for this are anticipated to range from £60,000 to £80,000 (€68,000 to €90,000).  

The real crown, incidentally, will be worn by King Charles III at his coronation in May.  


Before the sales event, Mercury’s items will be taken on the road with exhibition stops in New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong in June, followed by a “full takeover” of Sotheby’s London 16,000 square foot gallery in August.  

There, the space will be divided into specially created immersive sections to house the 1,500 items that will be displayed. The London exhibit will open on 4th August and close on 5th September on what would have been his 77th birthday.  

The pieces will all come from collections that resided in his Georgian-style home, Garden Lodge, which the singer bought in 1980 and lived in until his untimely death at the age of 45 in 1991 from an AIDS-related illness.  

After he died, Garden Lodge was left largely as it was for some 30 years.  

The tribute is fitting for a man who adored auctions, notably those put on by Sotheby’s. He once quipped, “I love going to auctions and buying antiques… The only thing I would really miss if I actually left Britain would be Sotheby’s.”  


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Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s 

Basketball: Jordan Loyd-inspired Monaco draw level in Euroleague playoffs

AS Monaco Basketball got their Euroleague playoff series back on track with a convincing victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv (86-74) on Thursday.

The scenes of Monégasque jubilation inside the Salle Gaston Médecin after Thursday’s victory starkly contrasted with the despondency in the wake of the defeat against the Israeli side just 48 hours earlier (67-79).

Career record for Jordan Loyd

The Roca Team came into the second game of the series desperately in need of a win. Luckily, they were unrecognisable to the team that succumbed to a sapping defeat on Tuesday; aggression and efficiency returned to their game at the right time.

Whilst the collective performance bore little resemblance to the first match, this is a match in which individual quality also proved decisive. No player was more improved than Jordan Loyd (two points in the first match), whose 33 points on the night are a career record in the Euroleague for the American.

“In the first match, we were surprised.”

It was during the third quarter that Tuesday’s game was lost, but Thursday’s match was won on the return from the dressing rooms as Sasa Obradovic’s men stepped on the accelerator, leaving Maccabi in their wake (67-54).

Obradovic has righted the ship with the sides heading into next Tuesday’s game in Israel all square.

“Firstly, I have to say that we didn’t have time to prepare for this series after the Coupe de France. In the first match, we were surprised and, from a tactical point of view, it was difficult. We had the reaction we needed in this second game,” said the Serbian coach.

The series is tantalisingly poised, with Monaco under pressure to get at least one result in the cauldron of Tel Aviv.


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Photo by AS Monaco Basket

NMNM welcomes an exhibit into the “schizo-frenzied” works of George Condo

American artist George Condo’s imaginative and eclectic art works of subjects not-quite-human are going on show at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco.

George Condo is a contradiction. He is both a Warhol acolyte and a lover of Old Masters. He played in a punk band in New York, but studied Baroque and Rococo painting. He also has rejected the old and supplanted it with his own version of modern art: a style comprised of figurative subjects that are the sort of things one would recognise, and sort of not.  

The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM) has seized upon these contradictions and brought the works of the American artist, who is being represented by Hauser & Wirth, to the Principality for an exhibition entitled “Humanoids”, which is running from 31st March until 1st October. 

“The ‘humanoid’ is not a science fiction monster, it is a form of representation that uses traditional means to bring deep emotions to the surface of a person,” says Condo of his works.  

monaco george condo
Rodrigo’s Wife by George Condo. © 2023 George Condo / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The exhibition’s pieces use a sort of reversed Cubist approach, taking subjects to the edge of being deformed in the Picasso way, but bringing it back to make them “almost human”, with the result being a unique mix of traditional portraiture and Cubist representations.  

Condo’s subjects range from Guido to Bugs Bunny to total unknowns, making it a real roller coaster ride for visitors. French curator Didier Ottinger calls Condo’s approach “schizo-frenzied”, saying he, unlike Warhol, chose “the museum over the supermarket” to great effect.  

nmnm george condo
Robot Girl by George Condo. © 2023 George Condo / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The artist’s ties to the Principality go back to the 1990s, when Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s Artistic Director Jean-Christophe Maillot invited him to create a stage curtain in 1998. Two years later, he returned, but this time he was asked to design the scenography and costumes for the Opus 40 ballet.  

For more information, visit the NMNM website.   


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Photos courtesy of Hauser & Wirth / © 2023 George Condo / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. 

This article was originally published on 30th March.

Record attendances, early closures: A mixed bag as ski season draws to a close

The closure of Isola 2000 last weekend marks a definitive end to the ski season, but many of the region’s resorts didn’t make it so far into the year. 

“We have had record attendances every weekend in January,” proclaimed Virginie Tumorticchi, the head of the Isola 2000 tourism office. The resort experienced a bumper year with foreign tourists filling the slopes for five months. “It’s a record for the Nice-Côte d’Azur ski stations,” says Jean-Christophe Desens, the head of the resort, which at times welcomed 7,000 visitors a day.

When the slopes closed for the season on 23rd April, the curtain was drawn on a successful season, with around 50cm of natural snow remaining on the peaks of one of the region’s most popular resorts.

Early closures throughout the region

However, not all resorts have been as lucky as Isola 2000. Just a matter of kilometres down the road, Auron was one of many resorts forced to close early due to the lack of snowfall. Located at a lower altitude, the resort had initially planned to close on 23rd April but ended the season 13 days earlier on 10th April. The lack of snow was the deciding factor behind a difficult decision.

Changing meteorological conditions have also forced Valberg to adapt. “It’s rare that we go beyond the end of March now,” says Pierre-Ange Bazzali, the co-manager of a ski rental shop at the resort. This year, Valberg closed its slopes on 19th March due to rising temperatures and rain. The resort hadn’t had fresh snowfall since 23rd January.

“Compared to recent years, we worked well every weekend this season. The season has gone very well, despite very little snow,” added Bazzali. Gréolières-les-Neiges is another resort that was forced to close its slopes earlier than expected in March.

Whilst the return of foreign visitors en-masse was welcome, conditions at many resorts underwhelmed this season. Short but sweet is perhaps the best way to summarise the 2022/23 season for the Côte d’Azur’s popular ski slopes.


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Photo by Fun Radio Côte d’Azur/Facebook

The return of El Niño: what will the impact be on Monaco and France?

The La Niña weather phenomenon, which intensified droughts and floods in several regions of the world, is finally over. But the one that is likely to follow, El Niño, will bring with it a whole new range of problems.

La Niña, the “cool phase” of the weather phenomenon El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), has been raging since 2020, lowering the temperature of the oceans and increasing rainfall patters in different parts of the world.

Now, according to a new update from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), El Niño, the “warm phase” of ENSO, has a high probability of returning this summer, bringing with it warmer waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

And while El Niña managed to reduce the impact of global warming last year, the WMO has warned that El Niño risks fuelling a new peak in global temperatures, and there’s a good chance that we will experience the hottest year on record.

“The first triple-dip La Niña of the 21st century is finally coming to an end,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas. “La Niña’s cooling effect put a temporary brake on rising global temperatures, even though the past eight year period was the warmest on record. If we do now enter an El Niño phase, this is likely to fuel another spike in global temperatures,” said Prof. Taalas.

El Niño is a natural weather phenomenon that occurs irregularly at two- to -seven-year intervals. It is characterised by a warming of the surface waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, unlike La Niña where the surface waters are colder than normal.

The variation in the temperature of the oceans plays an essential role in our climate. Each degree lower or higher affects the heat transfer between the ocean and the atmosphere. These variations are also a major factor in ocean currents, which are responsible for transporting heat and moisture across the globe and can therefore have a significant impact on climate. The oceans also provide a source of moisture to the atmosphere, which is essential for precipitation and average temperatures.

Experts at the WMO suggest that there is a 55% chance of El Niño developing in the June to August period this year.

Impact on France, Monaco and Europe

The El Niño and La Niña phenomenon occurs naturally, but it is taking place against a background of human-induced climate change, which is increasing global temperatures, affecting seasonal rainfall patterns, and making our weather more extreme.

In France and more widely in Europe, climate experts agree that there will be little to no impact of El Niño. But other areas of the globe will not be so lucky, namely the American continent, Oceania and the countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

Previous episodes saw more low-pressure weather than normal, but also warmer temperatures than average. So, when El Niño hits this summer, it will increase the number of heat waves as well powerful storms.

Will 2023 break the record?

The year 2016 was the warmest on record because of a combination of El Niño and climate change. There is a 93% likelihood of at least one year until 2026 being the warmest on record, and a 50:50 chance of the global temperature temporarily reaching 1.5°C above the pre-industrial era, according to a study last year by the UK’s Met Office, which is WMO’s lead centre for annual to decadal climate predictions.

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Photo credit: Photoholgic on Unsplash

Monaco Streaming Film Festival now open for submissions

The Monaco Streaming Film Festival will be back in autumn for its third edition, but it is already casting the net for submissions from talented filmmakers from around the globe.  

The Monaco Streaming Film Festival, an event that is “dedicated to showcasing the best in filmmaking from around the world”, is looking for filmmakers to submit their latest streaming projects for consideration. 


Now in its third year, the festival features dozens of films – some of them premieres – that are set to be sold directly to the streaming market. 

It’s a great opportunity for exposure for filmmakers, but the festival also brings together producers, creators and talent along with distributors, sales and technology providers to network and look at ways to get projects from the planning stages to the streaming services.  

Complementary side events include access to an array of industry insider information at panel discussions, masterclasses and keynote presentation events.  

There is also an awards show, which celebrates the best of the best in a variety of categories, such as Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Short Film, Best Documentary Short, Best Music Video and Best Animation. Plus, the jury members select three distinctive films for consideration. The winners receive the Jury’s Special Gold, Silver or Bronze prize.  


Submissions can now be sent in, with the first 50 applicants getting a 25% entry fee discount. The early bird deadline is set for 31st May, and the final deadline for submissions is 31st August. 

For a complete list of rules and fee scales, as well as information on how to put forward a project, please click here

This year’s Monaco Streaming Film Festival is being held from 31st October to 3rd November at the Grimaldi Forum.  


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Monaco Streaming Film Festival another success


Photo source: Jeremy Yap for Unsplash