The Jardins des Boulingrins in Monaco is currently hosting ‘State of Grace,’ a captivating exhibition by optical artist Marcos Marin.
Marcos Marin, originally from Brazil, has carved a niche in the international art scene with his pioneering work in optical art. Marin blends musical rhythms with visual dynamics, a hallmark of his art that has earned him worldwide recognition and several prestigious awards.
As visitors embark on their exploration of ‘State of Grace’ from the top of Jardin Boulingrins, they are first introduced to Marin’s sculptures of Hollywood icons such as Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Elizabeth Taylor, setting the stage for an artistic journey through iconic beauty and timeless elegance.
As they continue to descend through the garden, the exhibition seamlessly transitions to the contemporary Monaco narrative, featuring sculptures of Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene, and their twins, Prince Jacques, and Princess Gabriella. Through Marin’s artistic vision, the exhibition highlights the fascinating blend of cinematic and royal histories.
The exhibition culminates in a heart-shaped sculpture of Rainier III and Princess Grace Kelly, symbolically overlooking the Place du Casino, as if connecting Monaco’s past and present.
AS Monaco has extended the contract of 22-year-old Brazilian player Vanderson until June 2028.
Arriving at AS Monaco in January 2022 from Brazilian club Grêmio, with which he played 59 matches, Vanderson will continue his adventure in Monaco. He has already worn the diagonal jersey 76 times, scored five goals and provided nine assists.
Capable of playing on the entire right flank, Vanderson has played 13 matches this season under the direction of Adi Hütter. The Brazilian was decisive during the first match of the season against Clermont Foot 63, scoring a goal and providing an assist in the 4-2 victory, then, again scorer, in the 2-1 success against Stade Rennais last December.
Vanderson was last season called for the first time to play in Brazil’s national team, making his debut in the 4–1 victory against Guinea on 17th June. He was again summoned in August to play two matches with Auriverdes, this time in the company of Caio Henrique, notably contributing to Brazil’s 1-0 victory against Peru in September.
A decade after a controversial real estate project on the Esplanade des Pêcheurs was first approved, the company behind the failed project has reportedly taken the case to the European Court of Human Rights, demanding the Monaco Government pay €164 million in damages.
Back in 2014, the Monaco Government and the Société Monégasque d’Etudes et des Gestion Immobilières, now known as Caroli Immo, signed a memorandum of understanding on a vast development project on the Esplanade des Pêcheurs of Port Hercule that would have forever changed the landscape of the Principality.
Huge in scope and radical in design, the concept was to create a mixed-use development that blended cultural sites with housing, retail stores, offices, parking and public spaces on the southern tip of the iconic harbour.
The Esplanade des Pêcheurs backtrack
However, within a year of the signing of the agreement between the government and the developer, all plans, including a bill to decommission the publicly owned land on which the project would sit, were withdrawn by the state.
Official court documents later revealed that the decision had been motivated by “strong reservations on the part of the competent authorities, both from the point of view of [architecture] and [sizing] [of the project] as well as with regard to the constraints relating to the availability of space necessary for the organisation of important events, such as, among others, the Formula 1 Grand Prix”.
As reported by Monaco Life in 2020, Caroli Immo was unhappy with the turn of events and sought financial retribution of €423 million in compensation. This was revised down by the Supreme Court of Monaco in 2020, which ruled €137 million plus interest should be paid out.
At this point, Prince Albert II stepped in and called for a more amicable solution to be found.
The negotiations that followed raised the prospects of a modified project that would include state housing. Monaco’s National Council got behind the plans, passing a law in 2022 that would allow the Principality to benefit more from private developments and permit the decommissioning of the necessary land.
It was thus agreed that the project would be restarted and that Caroli Immo would waive its court-ordered compensation package in exchange for a timetable to begin the works.
Caroli Immo takes its case to the European Court of Human Rights
Then came the next major stumbling block: according to a request made to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), shown to AFP, Caroli Immo was “forced to abandon the project… following numerous appeals initiated by companies belonging to another Monegasque entrepreneur… Patrice Pastor”.
According to Caroli’s request to the ECHR, when the group asked for money from the Monegasque state again, it failed to respond, demonstrating “its desire not to pay”.
Lawyers for Caroli Immo, which is one of the Principality’s three largest developers, are believed to have submitted their case in early February and are awaiting a decision on whether or not it is “admissible”.
The Monaco government is yet to comment on the latest development in this long-running saga.
Despite its diminutive size, the Principality of Monaco is making its presence felt on the world stage of tennis after a respectable win against Paraguay has seen the nation progress from the World Group II play-offs to the World Group II final stage.
The Davis Cup is one of the oldest and most respected men’s tournaments in the tennis world, and after an excellent showing in the recent World Group II play-offs, which saw Monaco beat Paraguay 3-1, the Principality now stands a strong chance of improving its Davis Cup rankings when the World Group II final ties come round in September.
Between 3rd and 4th February, four of Monaco’s star players were welcomed to the Club Internacional de Tenis in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion for a series of important matches.
Monaco’s Benjamin Balleret lost out to Daniel Vallejo in the first, but Valentin Vacherot stepped up in the second match to win against his Paraguayan opponent, Martin Antonio Vergara Del Puerto.
Next came a doubles match featuring Monaco’s Hugo Nys and Romain Arneodo against Vallejo and Vergara, which was dominated by the Monegasques.
Vacherot sealed the deal for Monaco and helped secure his nation’s ascension to the World Group II finals with a win against Vallejo.
Come September, their opponents could include the likes of Ecuador, Bulgaria, Romania, Mexico, New Zealand and Ireland.
Monaco is currently ranked 57th in the global Davis Cup rankings.
2024 Davis Cup Finals
Following the Davis Cup Qualifiers, which took place around the world between 1st and 4th February, the 16 contenders for the Finals Group Stage later this year have also been confirmed.
Joining automatic entries Italy and Australia, who were the respective winners and runners-up of the 2023 edition, are Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czechia, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Slovakia and the USA. The remaining two seats have gone to wildcard entries Great Britain and Spain.
After matches in four chosen cities between 10th and 15th September, the final eight countries will go on to the Finals in Malaga, which will be held from 19th to 24th November.
Monaco Life speaks to Rhonda Hudson, president of the Kate Powers Foundation, about continuing the legacy of Kate Powers and advancing sustainability, wellness, and education in the Principality.
Rhonda Hudson is an American-born Monaco resident and Life Balance Coach who plans to carry the legacy of her best friend Kate Powers, the beloved owner of the former Stars ‘n’ Bars who passed away in 2021. The Kate Powers Foundation (KPF) was created in 2022 and officially inaugurated last March, in the presence of Prince Albert II, the Foundation’s Honorary President.
As president of the Foundation, Rhonda is keen to keep Kate’s memory alive by creating awareness in the community to promote eco-friendly actions, well-being, and education.
Monaco Life: What led you to become President of the Kate Powers Foundation?
Rhonda Hudson: Kate and I were best friends. We shared many of the same interests, from our love for nature and personal development to enjoying fantastic food. A month before Kate passed, we had a heart-to-heart on continuing her legacy in Monaco, and she felt blessed that I would want to continue her work. My main objective is to keep my connection to Kate alive.
How has your previous experience prepared you for a role as president?
My overall experience in the wellness industry allows me to bring knowledge, expertise, and perspective to my role as president of KPF. The Foundation is created on three pillars: sustainability, well-being, and education. My role will be to bring as much joy, fun and connection as possible, enabling KPF to make a meaningful positive impact that will serve the community.
What are the most essential qualities for someone in this role?
Hold the vision! It’s easy to lose sight when you face challenges; however, when you focus and allow inspiration to lead the way, everything comes together at the perfect time, and as we say at KPF, “Together, we shine bright”.
Do you have experience in volunteering, fundraising, and budgeting?
I have volunteered locally, including clean-up efforts around the Principality through Eco Angels – the concept created by Kate to reduce pollution – as well as planting trees and setting up wellness days and workshops. I have absolutely no experience with fundraising and budgeting. My philosophy is to surround myself with expert leaders in these roles to help guide and direct me, the board, our team, and the Foundation… people you can always learn something from and grow.
I am privileged to have accomplished women in my team: Karen Bond, VP; Stuart Botwright, Treasurer; Donatella Campioni, Public Relations; Martina Rakus, Communications. They all bring their specific competencies and experience to our organisation and share a strong desire to make a positive difference.
Do you feel at ease interacting with the media and at networking events?
I really like interacting with media. I feel comfortable being interviewed and speaking in public, and I am invigorated by sharing the excitement of what KPF is all about with the community. My approach during a networking event is enthusiasm. I enjoy making connections, listening to ideas, and sharing with others how we can build a more sustainable future together.
What is your passion and your strengths? How would others describe you?
My greatest passion is living from the heart space, sharing this with others who are interested in sharing this space and creating magic. I listen, follow my intuition, have fun, and do not take things too seriously. As for others describing me, that depends on who you are asking, possibly as a visionary, confident, calm, positive energy, mesmerising voice, and focused.
Tell us about your professional work.
I work with people on personal, professional, and spiritual transformation. I call myself a transformational coach as I love to see people overcome their limiting beliefs, stuck programming, and resisting patterns. Giving them tools to identify what they want versus what they don’t like and how they are creating their experience to step into the realm of possibilities.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned up to now?
I learn lessons every day. My most significant lesson is not to push or try to make something happen. Trying to make something happen or going to get something done always attracts more of the same experience. I am learning the art of allowing and being playful with this art. Everything has the perfect divine timing and trust, making this experience much more fun.
What’s your communication style?
I would say my style tends to be more assertive. However, I love observing, seeing what is happening, and communicating confidently and softly.
How do you measure success?
Success for me is awareness. My measurement of success is how I can stay aware of every situation, even if it might not completely align with my desires. I love making a difference; it is what excites me. Living with excitement is truly a passion of mine.
What is your strategy for KPF?
I have done my best to define objectives, identify and develop key messages, and understand our community and their interest and impact on sustainability, well-being, and education. Furthermore, choose a communication channel that will best suit KPF board members, volunteers, and our target audience, create content, focus on events that communicate our mission, center on critical partnerships and collaborations, and follow Kate’s guidance by remembering what she loved.
Arthur Leclerc, the 23-year-old younger brother of Ferrari’s Monegasque F1 driver Charles Leclerc, has been snapped up as a development driver for the Italian manufacturer after being released from the team’s academy at the end of last year.
Leclerc had been at the Ferrari Driver Academy since 2020 and had enjoyed some success in the Formula Regional European Championship and F3, but managed just 15th place in the F2 rankings after moving up in 2023.
Ferrari confirmed at the end of the year that he would be leaving the academy, but hinted that his affiliation with the manufacturer would continue. Now that role has been confirmed.
As announced on 27th January, the younger Leclerc’s future with the Maranello marque now looks increasingly secure following the news that he has taken up a new position as a development driver.
“Arthur Leclerc is joining Antonio Fuoco and Davide Rigon in the role of Development Driver,” read the Ferrari statement. “The job entails mainly working in the simulator, on car development, set-up work and updates introduced during the season. The Monegasque is also racing this year in the Italian GT championship in a Scuderia Baldini 27.”
Ferrari hasn’t wasted any time in putting Leclerc to work and got him on the track in late January for a three-day Pirelli test session in Barcelona. On 29th January, he piloted a F1 car – a 2022 F1-75, for the first time in his racing career.
Charles Leclerc posted a video of himself and his youngest sibling sharing that inaugural F1 experience on social media.