“Eternal friendship” of Princess Grace and Maria Callas immortalised in new artwork unveiled in Greece

A new statue by Monaco-based artist Marcos Marin dedicated to the long-standing friendship between Princess Grace of Monaco and opera singer Maria Callas has been unveiled in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The two women shared beauty, talent, successful careers in entertainment, and American passports, so it was not a big surprise that when Academy Award-winning actress Princess Grace and superstar soprano Maria Callas met, they would be fast friends.

Now, a monument to the relationship between these two amazing women has been erected at the Thessaloniki Concert Hall in northern Greece’s capital city.

The sculpture, a creation of Monaco-based Brazilian artist Marcos Marin, is entitled ‘Maria Callas & H.S.H Princess Grace of Monaco, an Eternal Friendship’, and was funded by Clelia Haji-Ioannou, sister of easyJet airlines billionaire Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

It was unveiled as part of the centenary celebrations of the birth of Maria Callas, who was born in New York City to Greek parents in 1923, as well as to “symbolise the twinning of the two states of Monaco and Greece”. The event was organised by the renowned Greek-Australian artist Ioanna Efthimiou, founder of the Maria Callas Monaco Gala and Awards, which just had its successful third edition in May.

“The sculpture, which depicts Princess Grace and Maria Callas embracing, symbolises Greece’s friendship with Monaco,” said Efthymiou. “Indeed, Monaco was a very important place for Maria Callas, because it was the only place where she could really rest. She also spent wonderful years there, first with her great love Aristotle Onassis and then alone.”

Photo left to right: Artist Marcos Marin, Founder and President of Brazil-Monaco Luciana de Montigny, Ioanna Efthimiou and Honorary Consul of Monaco to the Hellenic Republic Dr. Vassili G. Apostolopoulos


The Honorary Consul of Monaco to the Hellenic Republic, Vassili G. Apostolopoulos, delivered the opening speech of the ceremony, where he spoke of a “collective duty” to honour the memory of “La Divina”, the nickname given to Callas for her stunning voice, as well as the interconnectedness of Monaco and Greece.

He then mentioned the link with 100th anniversary celebrations that have been going on in Monaco for Prince Rainier III in 2023, as well as Princess Grace’s special place as a philanthropist and cultural icon.

Talks were then given by Luciana de Montigny, Founder and President of Brazil-Monaco, with a few words made by the artist, Marcos Marin as well as by Ioanna Efthimiou.

The Consulate of Monaco in Greece was among the supporters of this initiative.

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Reopening of the Consulate of Monaco in Greece

Main photo: Marcos Marin with his artwork titled ‘Eternal Friendship’, courtesy Consulate of Monaco in Greece.