Monaco’s Museum of Traditions, which houses the Museum of “Vieux Monaco” is due to undergo an expansion. Some serious changes will create more space for this quite small museum.
The modest building located at 2 Emile de Lot, is a home for valuable archives and historical documents which share the history of Monegasque traditions. The museum, originally officially set up as the “National Committee on Monegasque Traditions”, was started in 1924 by representatives of old Monegasque families. Its mission is to help the visitors of the Principality to discover local heritage.
Construction work is due to start in the near future, will be carried out under the supervision of Rainier Boisson and are planned for the next two years. The building will maintainits three floors, with an extension of its total area from 210m2 to 290m2.
Naturally, all this has not happened overnight. The need to increase the space has come with the growing number of collections and museum exhibits. The expansion project was considered for a few years and finally launched when the museum could no longer accommodate all its historical masterpieces. The task is quite challenging given that everything needs to fit into the existing architecture, without compromising the style, but rather complementing it.
“Our committee spent a few years searching for a solution,” says the Museum director, Alan Sangiorgio. We wanted to improve the situation without having to build a new museum. At first, the extension seemed impossible at the current location. We were even considering relocating to another building. But then Rainier Boisson came along and proposed this expansion project which was finally approved.”
“A successful combination of circumstances also helped us solve this problem. After we failed to come to an agreement with the Da Vita restaurant on its moving to another place, the project was significantly expanded. Thanks to this new arrangement we can now build lifts for people with special needs,” according to Museum Director, Alan Sangiorgio.
According to the architect, the reconstruction will not affect the façade of the building. However, some overall restructuring can be expected for the inside. All rooms will be renovated and upgraded.
During the reconstruction, the museum custodians will be able to give their full attention to more ancient collections and restore some artefacts which were previously kept inless favourable conditions.
Some 50 recovered paintings and prints will get a new framework for their exposition. A portrait of a famous Monegasque composer Langlais Honore painted by Louise Viget-Lebrun will undergo a full restoration, as will the antique museum furniture, which has long been plagued by insects, and the museum’s old clock. Designers and seamstresses specialising in ancient clothing have been invited to restore traditional Monegasque costumes, to patch and repair clothes from different eras. Dummies wearing the costumes will also be replaced.
The artefacts from the first and second floor will be placed under constant surveillance to enhance the level of security and prevent thefts.
The restoration work will be completely funded by the State. Monaco will allocate 1 million euros for this purpose. This is a generous contribution to ensure the continuation of its traditions!