Next phase of Ilot Pasteur building project to impact traffic until December

As the major Ilot Pasteur residency project continues to take shape, lane closures are being applied for the next few months as well as night works from November.

Effective from 18th September until 22nd December 2023, the uphill direction of avenue de Fontvieille will be closed to traffic between 9am and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday. Outside of these times, traffic will be restored in both directions.

In addition, non-noisy work requiring the closure of the avenue in both directions of traffic will also be carried out on the nights of 13th November to 22nd December 2023, from 8pm to 6am.

During the work period, access to avenue de Fontvieille for residents will be maintained at all times.

The Ilot Pasteur project will eventually comprise a set of buildings with a surface area of more than 100,000 m². It is one of the largest public projects in the Principality and will accommodate numerous important facilities for locals, including the new Collège Charles III, a new Espace Léo Ferré, a media library and a public car park with 900 spaces.

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Photo credit: Communications Department – Manuel Vitali



Explore Monaco’s “living heritage” at this weekend’s European Heritage event

From museums to national monuments, more than 50 important sites around the Principality will throw open their doors this weekend to mark the European Heritage Days event.  

Since 1996, the Principality has taken part in European Heritage Days, an event that honours the history, heritage and traditions of establishments and institutions across the continent.  

In Monaco, the Heritage Institute, under the aegis of the Department of Cultural Affairs, organises local events and has this year curated a packed programme under the theme of “living heritage” that features everything from sport to gastronomy and performing arts to science. 


In all, 53 sites and attractions around the Principality are listed on the programme. Many are not habitually open to the public, but all will be free to access on 24th September, making for a real cultural treat.  

Monaco-Ville, known more colloquially as The Rock, has several hot spots to hit, including the Grand Apartments of the Prince’s Palace, the Cathedral, the Oceanographic Museum, the Mairie, the Conseil National building, the Minister of State’s residence and the Princess Grace Irish Library. 

Step inside the Grand Apartments of the Prince’s Palace on 24th September. Photo by Monaco Life

The district also will feature entertainment by the U Cantin d’a Roca singers and the Palladienne dance troupe, as well as an entirely student-curated exhibition by the École Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques’ Pavillon Bosio called “Les Réformés du Droit Réservé”. 

In Fontvieille, check out the Jardin Animalier Rainier III, the Musée des Timbres et des Monnaies and the Stade Louis II, before heading over to the Condamine to visit the Automobile Collection of the Prince, the Academie Rainier III, which is running guided tours of its new premises, the Centre Scientifique de Monaco and the Sainte-Dévote Chapel.  

Also on your list should be the central district of Monte-Carlo, where the public is invited to spend time wandering through the Casino, the Opera Garnier, the Académie Princesse Grace and even the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco premises.  

Elsewhere in the Principality, visitors can explore the Eglise des Carmes in La Rousse, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco’s (NMNM) Villa Sauber site in Larvotto, and the Jardin Exotique’s Centre Botanique, Musée d’Anthropologie Préhistorique and NMNM’s Villa Paloma.  

Both of the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco sites, the Villa Sauber pictured here and the Villa Paloma, will be free to visit. Photo credit: NMNM

There are some outdoors activities too, such as the workshops at the Parc Princesse Antoinette’s A Fabrica with the Terres Méditerranéennes association. 

There are scores more places to visit too, all of which can be found here. Plan well and don’t miss a single one! 


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Featured photo credit: Jean Pierre Debernardi

SBM recruitment drive this October

Monaco’s largest employer, SBM, is holding a recruitment day on Tuesday 3rd October with jobs on offer at the resort’s luxury establishments including the flagship Café de Paris and Amazonica restaurant.

The recruitment day will be held from 9.30am to 6.30pm at the One Monte-Carlo Conference Centre, in the salles des arts and salle Cocteau.

Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer will be offering positions in the following sectors: cooking and pastry, rooms and bar, reception, nightlife, plumbing, painting, electrician, housekeeping, and wellbeing including swimming instructer and spa practitioner.

The number of positions available is yet to be defined, however a significant number of jobs will be available given the size of the resort and the openings of the expanded Café de Paris this November, and the new Amazonica restaurant next April.

All establishments will be represented by their respective managers.

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Photo by Monaco Life


House prices on the rise in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, but falling elsewhere in France

National property prices in France fell by almost 1% during the second quarter of 2023, building on a downward trajectory observed since the start of the year. Almost every region noted similar figures, except the south of France, which bucked the trend.  

The Institut National de la Statisiques et des Etudes Economiques (INSEE), the entity that analyses and disseminates information on the French economy and affiliated statistics, has reported that existing property prices dropped by 0.8% in Q2 of 2023. This comes on the back of a national 0.3% contraction during the first quarter of the year. 

Flats and apartments were hit hardest, falling by a full 1%, while house prices fell 0.6%.  

It is the third quarter in a row that prices have fallen in the Île-de-France region and the capital of France, but a first for “provincial” France, which saw prices decrease for the first time since Q3 2016. Over a year, prices outside the Île-de-France remain up, but growth has decelerated. 


In the seemingly bullet-proof south of France, though, the story is a bit different. The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) region saw a price rise of 0.7% during Q2 2023, roughly on par with the rises observed during the previous two quarters.  

Prices for flats in PACA were up 1.4% in the last quarter, while prices for single family dwellings experienced a less vigorous rise, staying nearly stable at 0.1%.  

The 12-month picture shows a rise of 4.5% over 2022 figures from the same period; a far cry from the negative growth in places such as the capital, which noted a 3.1% decline. PACA is, in fact, at the top of the pile for national and annual property price rises.  


The nationwide volume of transactions has continued a modest downward turn, falling to 1,002,000 at the end of June 2023, from 1,071,000 in March 2023. No specific figures for the PACA region are currently available. 

Please click here for the full report.


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Photo source: Unsplash

“Burning Gravity” brings Minjung Kim to Monaco for premiere exhibition

Monaco Minjung Kim

Sotheby’s Monaco is hosting South Korean calligraphist and watercolour painter Minjung Kim’s first-ever exhibit in the Principality: Burning Gravity. 

South Korean-born Minjung Kim knew art was to be her métier from an early age. She pursued her passion throughout her youth, studying oriental painting at Hongik University in Seoul, before heading to Milan to train at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, where she was influenced by the expressionist works of Constantin Brâncusi, Carl Andre and Brice Marden.  

Over time, the artist, based between New York City and the south of France, forged her own path, drawing from her traditional Korean training and blending it with the minimalist and abstract genres she has adopted.  


Now, Minjung Kim’s simple yet powerful images are being showcased at Sotheby’s Monaco in a show entitled Burning Gravity, which pulls on a selection of works from her Street, Mountain, Phasing, Sculpture and Order & Impulse series created from 2017 to 2023.  

Her pieces are made with layers of nearly translucent Korean Hanji paper, using different techniques and materials to achieve the desired look.  

The use of this type of paper has a sentimental aspect for the artist, who recalls playing with the paper scraps left on the floor of her father’s print shop. The effect is somehow both earthy and otherworldly. 

“I feel the weight of life is too heavy and it comes from gravity of body,” says the artist. “I’m so eager to achieve my status of anima (the unconscious part of your mind that works automatically, without introspection or awareness) without body-gravity. The whole active process of making art is burning my own body through Hanji paper.” 

minjung kim monaco
Order & Impulse, 2023, Minjung Kim


Kim’s work has been exhibited around the world over the past two decades, including at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Rome, the Hermès Foundation in Singapore and White Cube in London. 

Her works are also found in the collections of major institutions such the British Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Leeum Museum and the OCI Museum in Seoul, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Princeton University Art Museum in New Jersey and the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama. 

The Monaco exhibition will run from Thursday 21st September to Monday 30th October at Sotheby’s Monaco Gallery – found at 20 Avenue de la Costa – with a special event on Tuesday 26th September at 6.30pm, which will feature a talk between Kim, famed French art dealer Almine Rech and Bernard Picasso, the art collector, curator and grandson of legendary artist Pablo Picasso.  


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Photos supplied by Sotheby’s Monaco


Photos: Francien Giraudi announced as new Goodwill Ambassador for the MAC

The Monaco Ambassadors Club bestowed the grand honour of its Goodwill Ambassador Award on Francien Giraudi, the selfless and dedicated founder of Les Enfants de Frankie, at a magical and joyous night held at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort.  

Music, colour and creativity filled the Jardins Méditerranéens venue of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort on Thursday 14th September as the members of the exclusive Monaco Ambassadors Club (MAC), their families and Prince Albert II convened for one of the Club’s major social highlights of the year: the awarding of the MAC’s Goodwill Ambassador Award. 

Francien Giraudi, Goodwill Ambassador 2023 

It was the Prince himself who handed the Diplôme d’Ambassadeur de Bonne Volonté to the well-respected philanthropic figure of Francien Giraudi, a woman who has been at the helm of the Les Enfants de Frankie association for 25 years. 

During these years, Les Enfants de Frankie has helped many thousands of sick, disabled and vulnerable children living in the Principality and across southern France achieve their dreams through special experiences, activities and projects organised thanks to the funds raised by Francien and her team. 

2023’s Goodwill Ambassador Francien Giraudi of Les Enfants de Frankie with Prince Albert II of Monaco at the special soirée. Photo courtesy of Monaco Ambassadors Club

A night of colour, entertainment and warmth 

The colourful and vibrant nature of Les Enfants de Frankie, whose logo is of a clown, was also honoured at the event through the specially chosen rainbow theme picked out by MAC General Secretary Alessandra Sparaco. 

Live music was supplied by the talented band Blackberry, who kicked off the evening’s entertainment with a much-enjoyed rendition of Coldplay’s A Sky Full of Stars, while a kaleidoscope of haute couture creations by Italian designer Gianluca Capannolo adorned the dancers of the soirée. 

On the tables and in the elegant wine glasses of guests featured beverages by Pernod Ricard and a delectable rosé by Château Ste Marguerite – bottles of which were also given away to members at the end of the night – and generous gifts from the MAC’s other prestigious partners and sponsors decorated the wrists and bags of guests. An adorable teddy bear bracelet by Monaco jeweller APM was among the most appreciated trinket of the night. 

Colour and creativity was the theme of the evening; designer Gianluca Capannolo and Francien Giraudi are pictured centre. Photo courtesy of Monaco Ambassadors Club

In all, it was a wonderful moment of celebration and friendship. These sentiments permeated the event, which was summed up in a speech by the MAC President Christian Moore as “a privilege” to attend. 

Moore also took some time to speak on the talents of this year’s esteemed Goodwill Ambassador. 

A legacy and an inspiration 

“Goodwill Ambassadors are exceptional people who live in Monaco and have made major contributions to Monaco, the world and society,” he told those assembled, before reeling off a prodigious list of previous recipients, which includes his late father Roger Moore, John Christodoulou, David Coulthard and Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

In a few moments, a very special lady will be joining the list of illustrious individuals who have received this distinction in the past. She [Francien Giraudi] has been living in Monaco since 1975 alongside her husband and two children. A homemaker, she quickly integrated into Monegasque life. Even though she faced a language barrier, in 1980, she became the vice president of the “Les Voisins” association, which supports foreigners residing in Monaco, a position she held for 10 consecutive years. 

Prince Albert and other esteemed guests look on during the ceremony. Photo courtesy of Monaco Ambassadors Club

“Driven by a strong desire to help vulnerable children, she founded her own organisation, Les Enfants de Frankie, inspired by her personal story and with valuable guidance from Prince Rainier III of Monaco. For the past 25 years, she has been tirelessly leading this organisation. The numbers speak for themselves: whether it is children suffering from serious illnesses, facing disabilities, in deep distress, orphaned, or living in poverty, more than 75,000 families and nearly 150,000 children have benefited from her assistance. 

“She invests herself so deeply in humanitarian work that she has become a leader and advocate, always striving to be as close as possible to the children she supports. In 2002, she was invited to the United Nations General Assembly in New York for a session dedicated to children, accompanied by His Serene Highness the Crown Prince, to defend children’s rights. In 2008, she received recognition from the United Nations, granting her consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). 

“Prince Rainier III of Monaco awarded her the Knight of the Order of Grimaldi medal, and she also received the National Order of Merit from France for her outstanding service to the nation.” 

Moore then invited Francien on stage to receive her award, after which applause, cheers and toasts to her tireless work went round the stunning venue. Prince Albert, also joining Moore in front of the many MAC members gathered, then bestowed the prize on Francien, who was joined at the event by many members of her family, including her young grandsons.     


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All photos courtesy of the Monaco Ambassadors Club