Labour of love restores Larvotto fountain to former glory

A sculpture fashioned in a fountain and installed on the Larvotto Promenade in 1970 by artist Guy Lartigue is back in its rightful place after a three-year restoration lovingly undertaken by his son.

Back in 2019, in the midst of the renovation project that was revamping the Larvotto Promenade, an iconic piece of art disappeared. Now, three years later, it has been restored and reinstalled at its original location, at the end of the promenade.

The sculpture, created by artist Guy Lartigue, was commissioned in 1969 by Prince Rainier III as a tribute to Princess Grace. The resulting piece was a beautiful, eye-catching metallic sculpture with a circular basin nine metres in diameter, with columns 12 metres high, including a buffet 17 metres long, 3.5 metres wide and 4 metres from above.

Fast-forward 50 years and the Larvotto beach frontage was up for a facelift. As the project started in earnest, the government contacted Lartigue’s son Brice, who took charge of restoring the piece.

It took two months to dismantle the fountain, with each piece being labelled and numbered in order to store them properly, giving Lartigue a chance to restore smaller pieces individually. He used painstaking care, airbrushing or descaling the pieces in baths with environmentally friendly products, such as alcohol vinegar.

Once the makeover was complete, it was time to put the pieces back together in its rightful place, reattaching it to the pumps that motor the fountain. The sculpture is now almost unrecognisable, with its beautiful aqua hues as opposed to the rusty brown that it had become.

The fountain was officially unveiled on Wednesday 18th May by Prince Albert II, alongside Minister of State Pierre Dartout, National Council President Stéphane Valeri and other officials.

The restoration was funded by L’Anse du Portier and Patrice Pastor.



Photo by Cassandra Tanti, Monaco Life