The New York Times identified Monaco as a cultural travel destination this weekend. So much for Somerset Maugham’s description of the principality as a “sunny place for shady people”:
Monaco, a tiny principality that clings improbably to a limestone cliff on the southeastern coast of France, has long been known as a playground for vacationers with means who dabble in hobbies like gambling and Formula One car racing. Yet in recent years, it has become home to a distinctive and vibrant international contemporary art community, a new tourist draw in a country with no shortage of them.
“We know people come to Monaco for the sea and the sun, but we want them also to know that we are committed to culture and, in particular, to art,” Paul Masseron, the principality’s minister of the interior, said.
The commitment is evident in the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, which opened in its current configuration in 2010 under the direction of Marie-Claude Beaud. Its exhibitions are on view at both the Villa Paloma and the Villa Sauber, a belle époque structure on the harbor designed by Charles Garnier, the architect best known for his opera house in Paris.
Monaco Adds Art to Its Seaside Allure (New York Times)