Monaco to impose water restrictions from Saturday

The Principality will enter the ‘alert’ drought level this weekend as water supplies run worryingly low. Here are the restrictions that will be in force.

The Monaco government announced at a press conference on Thursday that it will now follow the same drought alert model as the neighbouring Alpes Maritimes department.

It is a response that the government says is necessary to help prevent the situation from getting worse.

On Friday, four levels of alert will be announced in Monaco’s Official Journal. The first level is vigilance, the second is alert, the third is heightened alert, and the fourth is crisis, stated Monaco’s Minister of State Pierre Dartout.

From Saturday, the entire Monegasque territory will enter the ‘alert’ level.

It means that the watering of lawns, flower beds, planters, green spaces and sports fields will be prohibited between 8am and 8pm.

The filling of swimming pools will be banned, as is the cleaning of facades and roofs.

The washing of boats or professional watercraft is restricted to specific time slots.

Meanwhile, the State will regulate street cleaning, however the government noted that the Société Monégasque d’Assainissement uses water from the Vallon de la Nut, which is unsuitable for human use anyway.

The Minister of State warned that the government will elevate the drought level if the situation worsens.


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Can I fill up my swimming pool during the drought?


Photo by Monaco Life



Prince Pierre of Monaco Foundation Literary Prize and Discovery Grant: the authors are revealed

The Literary Council of the Prince Pierre of Monaco Foundation, chaired by Caroline, Princess of Hanover, met on Wednesday 10th at the Hôtel Ritz, in Paris, to draw up the list of authors in the running for the Literary Prize and the Discovery Grant.

The Prince Pierre of Monaco Foundation aims to promote contemporary creation in the literary, musical and artistic fields.

Dominique Fortier, renowned Canadian writer, took part in her first Literary Council as a representative of French-speaking Canadian Literature alongside members of the Académie française, the Académie Goncourt and representatives of les Lettres francophones. After a long deliberation, the Jury agreed on the following candidates:


Created in 1951, the Literary Prize honours a renowned French-speaking writer for all of their work. It has a prize of €25,000. The list of authors selected for the 2023 Literary Prize of the Prince Pierre Foundation are Michael BERNARD, Sylvie GERMAN, Marie-Helene LAFON, Jean-Noel PANCRAZI, and Serge REZVANI.


The Discovery Grant, created in 2001 on the 50th anniversary of the Literary Prize, is awarded to a French-speaking author on the publication of his first work of fiction. This Prize of €12,000 is endowed by the Princess Grace Foundation. The authors competing for the 2023 Discovery Grant are:

– Feurat ALANI, Je me souviens de Falloujah, JC Lattès

– Claire BAGLIN, En salle, Les Éditions de Minuit

– Erwan BARILLOT, Moi Omega, Bouquins

– Dominique CELIS, Ainsi pleurent nos hommes, Philippe Rey

– Eric CHACOUR, Ce que je sais de toi, Alto

– Catherine LOGEAN, Confessions à un ficus, L’Arbre vengeur

– Jeanne PHAM TRAN, De rage et de lumière, Mercure de France

– Perrine TRIPIER, Les guerres précieuses, Gallimard

The novels will be presented to the public at the Médiathèque de Monaco on 29th June, and a meeting with their authors will be offered on 9th October.

The winners of the Literary Prize and the Discovery Grant will be announced during the Foundation’s Prize proclamation ceremony on 10th October 2023 at the Salle Garnier in Monaco.


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Photo: Members of the Jury present (starting at the top left) are Frédéric Vitoux, Paule Constant, François Debluë, Jean-Marie Rouart, Dany Laferrière, Yves Namur, Dominique Bona, Dominique Fortier, Philippe Claudel, HRH the Princess of Hanover, Jean-Charles Curau, and Pierre Assouline. Credit: Cyril Bailleul, Fondation Prince Pierre



Historic Bains de la Police restored and reopening on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais

Bains de la Police, the beach area at the far end of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, was reserved only for local police after World War II. Abandoned and closed to the public for several years, it will come to life again in the form of a new restaurant featuring local fare and a brand new look.

The site was gifted to local police in 1947 for their heroism during the liberation of Nice during the Second World War. It was manged on a voluntary basis and became a popular spot for brave swimmers who dove from the platforms into the sea.

In November 2014, waves from a massive storm damaged the footbridge connecting the old blockhouse to the beach. The timing was bad, as the Prefecture was about to renew the authorisation for occupation, and despite efforts from the Policemen’s Association, the site was not repaired enough to be considered safe.

Demolition of the platforms came next in 2017, and it seemed it may be the end for this historic site.

Bains de la Police was reserved for police only after World World II.


The scenic spot was just too much of a temptation for Castel Plage, the neighbouring private beach, which took on the massive renovation and reparation project to turn the site into a working restaurant.

A kitchen has been carved into the rocks, while dining areas on two levels will give customers the feeling of being quite literally on the water. In addition, touches from the old days have been retained, like the old footbridge, which has been recreated to withstand bad weather. There were also technical challenges to overcome.

“We had to make a ventilation duct which was quite complex, given that we had to drill through the rock 12 meters high. It was a real achievement,” Ali Abdelhafidh, the manager of the establishment, told France 3.

Bains de la Police, which is set to open this May, involved months of work and hundreds of thousands in costs.


The menu will consist mostly of seafood. “It’s going to be a lot around Mediterranean fish,” said Abdelhafidh. “We’re going to have a menu with oysters, sashimi, and whole fish. Obviously, we’ll do a little catering for the people who don’t like seafood, but it will be predominantly Mediterranean.”

Fish dishes will start at €32 and starters will come in at €22. The view, on the other hand, will be free and definitely worth the visit.

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Photo credit: Cedric Converset 



Why are motorists in France paying more at the pump than the rest of the EU?

Petrol prices in France are still significantly higher than other EU countries. We explain why.

The effects from the war in Ukraine saw the cost of gasoline prices in the European Union (EU) skyrocket back in February 2022, with fear of shortages and being cut off from Russian supplies fuelling the hikes.

Fast forward to May 2023 and the situation has settled down significantly. The price of a barrel of gas has returned to mid-February 2022 levels, and this return to normalcy has by and large been passed on to consumers at the pumps… except in France.

The average price of a litre of unleaded SP95-E10 in France is €1.84. In Italy and Germany, motorists are paying 10 centimes less per litre and in Eastern Europe, it’s a full 15 centimes less. Only Demark has higher prices than France.


The continued inflated prices are being blamed on the high cost of ethanol, an ingredient that is added to conventional fuel in France. Ethanol is of plant origin, normally corn, and has been found to have lower emissions and is therefore better for the environment.

In France, most motorists use E10, which is a 10% ethanol, 90% gasoline blend. This higher costing gas coupled with high fuel taxes and 20% VAT has meant that French consumers pay more at the pumps than in other countries.

There is also the issue of strikes. Blockades at the refineries have meant that petrol was imported to avoid shortages, a costly endeavour for the distributors that gets passed on to consumers.


Whilst some of the reasons fuel prices remain so high can be explained away by regulations, there is also a potential fundamental problem at the retail level.

Large retailers, as a whole, no longer systematically seek to drive down fuel prices in their outlets. These service stations account for more than half of fuel sales in France.

The Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, requested on Tuesday that fuel prices “fall faster” and that they reflect the decline in international oil prices. She said she considered it “unacceptable that companies increase their margins on the backs of the French”. A meeting on this subject with heads from the sector is scheduled for 11th May.

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Photo Erik McLean on Unsplash

Prince Albert celebrates Roca Team’s Euroleague qualification as “One of the most historic matches”

AS Monaco Basket following their qualification for the Euroleague Final Four

The handshake between Oded Kattash and Sasa Obradovic, the coaches of Maccabi Tel Aviv and AS Monaco Basketball respectively brought to an end a gripping and historic series, which sees the Roca Team progress to the Euroleague Final Four for the first time in the club’s history, and all in front of Prince Albert II, who reacted to the historic feat post-match. 

The atmosphere throughout the evening was electric, albeit tinged with nervousness at moments, with the Roca Team not having things all their own way on their home court. The final buzzer was a cathartic and deafening moment in the Salle Gaston Médecin, with scenes of joy in the stands spilling onto the court in a beautiful communion between fans, players, and staff.

“One of the most historic matches”

Amongst them was Prince Albert II, who joined the players on the court post-match to celebrate the club’s historic achievement. However, it wasn’t just club history that was achieved on Wednesday night, but French basketball history, as Monaco became the first French side to progress to the Euroleague Final Four since 1997.

“It’s one of the most historic matches. It’s extraordinary,” began Prince Albert II in an interview with Skweek. “It was a difficult match for the nerves, but it had great intensity. The two teams were great, and we expected that it would be closely contested. We were able to manage our strong periods well and not fall into a trap.”

The final moments were particularly nail-biting for the Prince, who witnessed the accumulation of a decade’s work come down to just five minutes of basketball. “I was worried when we started committing fouls five minutes from the end, but the result is extraordinary. It’s good for French basketball and magnificent for Monaco. It showcases us brilliantly. The club was in the third division three years ago. No one believed or could even believe such a trajectory – me first and foremost,” he said.

Prince Albert II at AS Monaco Basket v Maccabi Tel Aviv
Prince Albert II at AS Monaco Basket v Maccabi Tel Aviv. Photo by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

Monégasque basketball rising from the shadows

Basketball has always lurked in the shadow of football within the borders of the Principality, but the sport has been fully embraced as part of Monaco’s packed and complex sporting matrix thanks to the club’s European exploits in recent years, which began with the EuroCup in 2021.

“A lot has been invested into this club, not just financially,” said Prince Albert, who was reflecting on the Roca Team’s meteoric rise. There is also a great dynamic with excellent players, a good group, and great staff. You see the passion that the team has aroused, even in a modestly-sized hall. You feel the fervent support from the loyal supporters. Personally, my passion for basketball has grown over the years. In Monaco, there was football, and now there is also basketball.”

“You have to believe until the end”

Prince Albert II is already looking ahead to the Final Four in Kaunas, where Monaco will face their old rival Olympiacos on 19th May, and the Sovereign is allowing himself to dream. “I’ll do everything possible to be at the Final Four in Lithuania. We are allowed to dream [of the title], but it will be very tough. There are some really brilliant teams and like any final(s), it will be a high-intensity match with huge stakes at the heart of it. You have to believe until the end,” he said.

Obradovic joked that he wasn’t thinking about the Final Four, “let me have this moment”, he joked to Skweek, but attention will soon turn to pulling off the ultimate feat, the pinnacle of European basketball  – winning the Euroleague.


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Photo credit: Michael Alesi / Palais Princier

John Chamberlain The Poetics of Scale in Monaco at Hauser and Wirth

Hauser and Wirth has unveiled its summer exhibition: one that pairs John Chamberlain’s early poetry with his sculptural series Gondolas and Tonks, works that epitomise the artists poetic approach to materials and scale.

It is the first time that Hauser and Wirth has shown a John Chamberlain solo exhibition here in Monaco.

Titled The Poetics of Scale, the premise is to focus on a body of work that the American artist made when he moved to his studio in Florida in the early 1980s.

John Chamberlain, born in Indiana in 1927, became known in the 1950s for using automobile parts for his sculptures; for welding and crushing them together. He is one of the most prominent post-war American sculptors, but he is associated with a variety of different movements. Many people interpret his sculptural technique as being allied to abstract Expressionism.

They also say his use of car parts and paint is allied to Action Painting: it’s very gestural and it has an emphasis on colour. He stayed for a time with Pop Artist Larry Rivers in New York, so pop artists saw him as a peer. At the same time, he was also being seen as a peer by the Minimalists because he was using industrial materials.

But in his mind, Chamberlain saw himself in Duchamp and the Readymade.

“John Chamberlain was allied to all of these movements, and yet none; he moved between them, and all of them were admirers of him. He built friendships and peer relationships with figures within all of the important post war mid-century art movements in the United States,” explains the exhibition’s Curator   Tanya Barson during a press tour.

Curator Tanya Barson, photo by Monaco Life

The Poetics of Scale is on show at the contemporary Hauser and Wirth gallery  in One Monte-Carlo all summer.

It picks up the story in 1980 when Chamberlain moved to the coast of Sarasota, Florida, when he arrived on his boat. He found a studio on the marina and began working on a commission using truck parts.

“He looks around his studio and sees the remnants of the trucks, which are actually the chassis’. They remind him of Venetian gondolas. You can see why he’s thinking about boats. He’s thinking about the really long horizontal form of a gondola and the form that these truck chassis gave him. But he’s combining that with more coloured, crushed parts of trucks to build up the forms here,” says Barson.

The Gondolas are each given a subtitle, named after a poet: one is called ‘Gondola Hart Crane’, the other ‘Gondola Marianne Moore’. “It’s The recurrence of that early influence of poets in these works.”

There is another reference to that influence in this exhibition, a series of early poems written by Chamberlain whilst he was at Black Mountain College, often addressed to his first wife Elaine; the subtle, romantic words are a stark contrast to the masculine, solid sculptures that dominate this exhibition space.

“There’s a lot of really interesting imagery here to do with women, to do with his relationships with women, but also to do with his relationship with other artists,” says our guide.

But the show is called The Poetics of Scale because at the same time as he was making these large works, he started another series, which he called the Tonks. They are small sculptures, a reference to the famous miniature Tonka trucks, which Chamberlain created using different car and truck parts.

A third sculpture, floor based, is called the Dhuha Ditty, another piece from his work in the early 80s.

John Chamberlain (1927 – 2011) Dhuha Ditty, 1983. Photo by Monaco Life

The international art house Hauser & Wirth opened a gallery in depths of One Monte-Carlo in the summer of 2021. It has since hosted contemporary exhibitions including Paul McCarthy’s Pirate Stew Pot, Amy Sherald’s ‘The World We Make’ , and Roni Horn’s ‘Sweet is the swamp with its secrets’.

“It’s an extraordinary pleasure to curate here. It’s an incredibly beautiful space,” says Tanya Barson. “It is a very large-scale gallery, but it is a context where you can show work of a different scale. We can show really large-scale works, and Gondolas being a case in point, these are really monumental sculptures, amongst the largest that Chamberlain made. You need to give them space and this is absolutely a beautiful gallery to show them in.”

John Chamberlain. The Poetics of Scale is on view until Saturday 2nd September 2023. The exhibition is free to attend and no advance booking is necessary.

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Photo above of Gondolas by Monaco Life



Monaco Art Week announces dates and participants for 5th edition