Aaron Gekoski’s ‘See No Evil’ wins the FPA2’s 2024 Environmental Photography Award

Environmental Photography Awards

The Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco’s 2024 Environmental Photography Awards have been won by Aaron Gekoski and his devastating ‘See No Evil’, a heartbreaking image of Ning Nong, an orangutan exploited by the tourism industry in Thailand.  

The winners of the 2024 Environmental Photography Awards were unveiled by Olivier Wenden, the Vice-President and CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (FPA2), and members of the prestigious jury on the Boulevard du Larvotto in Monaco on Tuesday 4th June.  

“Four years ago, when we started this photography competition, we had about 6,000 photos submitted,” said Wenden. “This year, we had 11,000 photos, of which only 36 were chosen to be part of the exhibition.” 

It took the jury several months to whittle down the entries, which came from more than 2,600 photographers around the world, but one clear winner emerged: Aaron Gekoski with ‘See No Evil’.  

A professional environmental photojournalist, Gekoski won not only the Environmental Photographer of the Year Award, but he also clinched the Category Award for Humanity Versus Nature with his moving image of Ning Nong, an orangutan forced to perform on a daily basis at Safari World in Bangkok, as well as the Change Makers: Reasons for Hope Award for his ‘Substitute Rhinos’ image.  

Aaron Gekoski’s ‘Substitute Rhinos’ won the Change Makers: Reasons for Hope Award. Photo credit: FPA2

“I hope that through this award, more people will know Ning Nong’s story and the immense suffering that Safari World and other similar destinations are responsible for. We need to do better,” Aaron Gekoski shared with those who gathered for the ceremony. “We are responsible for the suffering of these animals in tourism attractions worldwide.” 

Gekoski has spent over five years documenting the conditions of orangutans in captivity, working with an US NGO called Lady FreeThinker.  

His second winning photograph, ‘Substitute Rhinos’ depicts the Cobras Community Wildlife Protection Unit in Zimbabwe conducting guarding drills. It shares the story of the people and the animals involved in desperate efforts to protect the nation’s wildlife.  

Other laureates at the 2024 Environmental Photography Awards 

Other notable winners include: Magnus Lundgren, who won the Ocean Worlds category with his photograph ‘Inner Space Hitchhiker’, which captures a brown paper nautilus riding a jellyfish in the Philippines; Jaime Rojo, who won the Into the Forest category with ‘Explosion of Monarchs’, which was taken in Mexico’s fir forests; and Daniel Valverde Fernández, who won the Polar Wonders category with ‘Shaking off the Snow’, featuring a polar bear in a Canadian blizzard.  

Jaime Rojo’s ‘Explosion of Monarchs’ won the Into the Forest category. Photo credit: FPA2

Fernando Faciole won the Public Award for ‘Rainy Release’, an image sharing the release of a giant anteater in Brazil, while Thomas Vijayan received the Students’ Choice Award for ‘Parenting Goals’, a photograph of a family of Emperor penguins in Antarctica. 

An exhibition showcasing the 2024 winners and runners-up of the FPA2’s Environmental Photography Awards will remain on the Larvotto boardwalk until 30th July, after which it will be going on tour.

Submissions for the 2025 edition of the Environmental Photography Awards will be accepted between 3rd September and 3rd November 2024.  

To see more images from the Awards Ceremony, click on the images below:

And to watch the Monaco Life reel of the event and exhibition, see below:


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Photo credits: Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco

Monaco Art Week and artmonte-carlo to spotlight the Principality’s dynamic arts scene this July

monaco art week

July is chalking up to be a big month for art in the Principality, with two major cultural events set to showcase the vibrant and evolving arts scene that has taken root in this corner of the Mediterranean.

Between 2nd and 7th July, Monaco Art Week will offer visitors a curated view of the Principality’s dynamic arts scene.  

The programme will feature a vast array of exhibitions, artistic meet-ups, conferences and roundtable discussions in locations and venues across Monaco. A highlight will undoubtedly be the ‘new to the schedule’ session led by Swiss auctioneer Simon de Pury on ‘The Future of the Art Market’, which will host notable figures such as visual artist Hilde Lynn Helphenstein – also known as Jerry Gogosian – and artist Kenny Schachter. 

From Artcurial and Christie’s to Sotheby’s and Boghossian, the roll call of galleries that will unite under the banner of Monaco Art Week really is a ‘who’s who’ of the biggest names in the art world, both here in the Principality and beyond its borders. New additions to the line-up in 2024 include the Almine Rech Gallery, Collect MC Association and Hôtel des Ventes de Monte-Carlo. 

“Monaco is an experience… People need to see what it can offer in terms of the art world, which is so much as there are many unique exhibitions that are taking place here and have taken place in the past, showing the evolution of Monaco’s art scene,” said Fabrizio Morretti, Vice President of Monaco Art Week, at the event’s press unveiling on 5th June.  


Coinciding with Monaco Art Week this year is the eighth edition of artmonte-carlo, which will be hosted by the Grimaldi Forum on 6th and 7th July.  

Now under Director Charlotte Diwan, the show is set to feature 27 international galleries and more than 200 artists from around the world. Returning participants include Perrotin, Mennour and Van de Weghe, alongside local galleries such as Hauser & Wirth and the Kamil Art Gallery. 

“We are honoured to participate in the artmonte-carlo salon and show our curated exhibitions to the Principality,” Federica Berretta, the director of Hauser & Wirth Monaco, told Monaco Life.  

Meanwhile, Safia El Malqui, an ambassador for artmonte-carlo, said, “I am very proud of artmonte-carlo as it has now become an international art event and marked its place on the global arts stage.” 

In addition to the numerous galleries, Monaco’s preeminent cultural institutions will also be given places of honour at the show, with representatives from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Princess Grace Theatre and Pavillon Bosio all confirmed to be attending.  

For more information about Monaco Art Week, click here

To preorder tickets to artmonte-carlo, click here


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Photo by Monaco Life 

Electro-pop duo Air coming to Monaco for ‘Moon Safari’ tour

air monaco

The enduringly popular electro-pop duo Air is returning to the stage after a seven-year hiatus with an international tour that includes a special stop in Monaco. 

Nearly 30 years ago, two young French students from Versailles named Nicolas Godin and Jean Benoît Dunckel joined forces and founded a band. Under the name Air, they soon became a sensation in France.  

The release of their 1998 album ‘Moon Safari’ made them household names in their home country and beyond, and they went on to release a further four studio albums and wrote the film score for Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Virgin Suicides’. 

Now, after seven years away from the stage, the pair is reuniting for a tour that will celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘Moon Safari’. The artists, who are now in their 50s, will be performing in more than 40 cities around the globe between June and October 2024, including here in Monaco at the Opéra Garnier Monte-Carlo on Saturday 15th June.  

The Principality stopover is the second date in the tour, which will begin in Barcelona on Friday 14th June. Following performances in a number of European cities, Air will be heading overseas for a string of shows in Canada, the US and Mexico.  

Tickets for the Monaco date start at €120 and can be purchased here.  

Read related:

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Photo source: Air

Charles Leclerc documents “dream” Monaco GP win in new vlog

F1’s Charles Leclerc has given a snapshot into his life in the days leading up to, and during, his historic Monaco Grand Prix win in a 12-minute video that also features his gorgeous puppy Leo and girlfriend Alexandra Saint Mleux.

Charles Leclerc shared the vlog on the evening of Tuesday 4th June on his YouTube channel, which has over 950,000 subscribers. 

Titled ‘Winning Monaco’, the video documents Leclerc’s simple daily tasks in the days leading up to his big win, from walking his adorable puppy Leo in the streets of Monte-Carlo and getting his hair cut by his mother in his own bathroom to playing his original compositions on a grand piano in his Monaco apartment and eating his favourite pizza the night before the big day. 

The vlog gives fans an intimate perspective on the life of this famous Monegasque Scuderia Ferrari driver, including the close friendship that he has with Prince Albert II of Monaco. 

It also shows his emotional reaction to fulfilling a “lifelong dream” to win the Monaco Grand Prix.

“Two laps to the end, I was starting to cry in the car,” he tells his brother Arthur after jumping into the harbour. “Every time I was thinking of the victory, I was emotional, and then I was like ‘Charles, stop it’. On the last lap, I was leaving a gap of a metre with the wall, I was being careful, I was barely going full speed in the straights hoping there wouldn’t be any problems.”

The 26-year-old stormed to victory on Sunday 26th May 2024, sending Ferrari tifosi and the entire Principality into a frenzy.

Watch ‘Winning Monaco. A Weekend I’ll Remember Forever – Monaco 2024’, below:



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Roca Team dominates Paris Basketball in first game of BetClic Elite finals

In the first of three games that will decide whether AS Monaco Basket or Paris Basketball become the 2024 Champions of France, the Roca Team stole the show by beating their rivals 90-80. 

Playing at home in the Salle Gaston Médecin on Tuesday 4th June, the Roca Team got their Betclic Elite finals campaign off to a flying start with a solid win over Paris Basketball.  

The undisputed star of the night was the incomparable Mike James, who racked up an incredible 31 points along with three assists. Élie Okobo was also a key scorer, with 15 points, followed by Jaron Blossomgame, who had a fantastic showing with 13.  

Following the game, James told reporters, “I’m just happy with the victory. We won, but we are already focused on the next match. It’s important to win every match, we absolutely want to maintain our home advantage. We will now prepare for Game 2.” 

The next clash of these two titan teams is scheduled for Thursday 6th June in Monaco. The game will begin at 6.30pm. Tickets can be purchased here.  

Read related:

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Photo credit: AS Monaco Basket


Prince Albert II takes Tesla’s new Cybertruck on first European test drive

tesla cybertruck

Monaco’s Prince Albert II became the first person in Europe to officially test drive the new Cybertruck from Tesla when he got behind the wheel of the innovative new all-electric vehicle in the Place du Casino earlier this week.

Accompanied by Mathieu Lenglin, the director of Tesla France, and Emeric Garcia, the director of Top Marques, Prince Albert took the futuristic vehicle on a short drive through the Principality at an event that launched the 2024 edition of Top Marques and marked the first day of a tour that will see the Cybertruck paraded around 100 European cities.  

Prince Albert II is officially the first person to test drive the new Tesla Cybertruck on European soil. Photo credit: Top Marques

“The test drive went very well. It felt incredible because you don’t feel the weight of this big pick-up at all; it’s still very manoeuvrable and easy to drive,” said Garcia. “Prince Albert II seemed delighted to drive the Cybertruck and was very interested, asking lots of technical questions. I think he would even have liked to drive it for several kilometres!” 

See more: Interview: Emeric Garcia, Top Marques Monaco Director

Following Prince Albert’s test drive on Tuesday 4th June, the Cybertruck will be spending a further 48 hours in the Principality before it continues on the next leg of the Cyber Odyssey tour.

The Cybertruck, which was first revealed as a concept car in 2019 and features sharp angles, stainless steel panelling and armoured glass, is described by its designers as being “durable and rugged enough to go anywhere”. 

It is pretty fast too. According to Tesla representatives, the vehicle can reach 60mph in 2.6 seconds and has a range of around 550 kilometres before charging is required. It is equipped with ‘steer by wire’ steering, which gives it a turning radius less than many saloon cars. 

Other features include a large 183cm x 122cm flat bed boot, a front boot and a hidden gear locker, which together offer the vehicle’s drivers and passengers an exceptional amount of storage.

Visitors to Top Marques can get a closer look at the Cybertruck on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th June as it will be on display at the Grimaldi Forum. 

For tickets and more information, click here.  

Read related:

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Photo credit: Top Marques