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An Unforgettable Celebration of Mediterranean Gardens: RIMM’s 12th Edition

The 12th International Monaco and the Mediterranean Meetings (RIMM), held on March 7 and 8 at the Oceanographic Museum, has concluded, leaving attendees in awe at the rich history and profound beauty of Mediterranean gardens. This biennial event, under the high patronage of Prince Albert II, delivered an exceptional exploration of garden artistry, embracing both scholarly depth and aesthetic delight. The event was in partnership with the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco, the Audiovisual Institute of Monaco and National Committee of UNESCO of Monaco.

RIMM's 12th Edition

From the opening session, where Elisabeth Bréaud, the president-director, welcomed the audience with an inspiring speech, to the closing film screening of Erige Sehiri’s “Under the Fig Trees,” every moment was meticulously crafted to enrich and engage. The head gardener of the Domaine de Trianon, Alain Baraton, and other distinguished speakers brought expertise and passion, setting the stage for a memorable event.

The RIMM event emphasized three thematic phases – the Time of Abundance, the Time of Virtue, and the Time of the Marvellous. These three themes which were explored over the span of the event provided a comprehensive journey through the Mediterranean garden’s evolution. The themes were brought to life through 3 roundtables, including 15 conferences, and contributions from 19 speakers representing 7 different countries.

RIMM's 12th Edition

The Times of Abundance, Virtue and the Marvellous

The Time of Abundance delved into the essential role of water in garden creation. From the lush Moroccan oases to the intricate designs of historical gardens, attendees were transported to spaces where water transforms the mundane into the sublime. The discussions highlighted how the capture and use of water transitioned gardens from mere survival spaces to luxurious havens.

In contrast, the Time of Virtue emphasized the garden as a space of intellectual and moral elevation. This segment resonated deeply with attendees, showcasing how gardens have served as places for scientific exploration, philosophical discourse, and personal reflection. Renowned botanists, philosophers, and historians shared insights into how gardens cultivated both plants and minds.

RIMM's 12th Edition

The final theme, the Time of the Marvellous, captured the imagination with its focus on artistic transcendence in garden design. Through presentations on the decorative arts of Antoni Gaudí’s Park Güell and the timeless allure of Botticelli’s eternal Spring, participants were reminded of the garden’s potential to enchant and inspire. This phase underscored the garden as a symbol of human creativity and its quest to harmonize with nature.

The event’s highlight was undoubtedly the rich exchange of ideas and the celebration of shared heritage. The presence of eminent specialists facilitated a dynamic dialogue that bridged the past, present, and future of Mediterranean gardens. The collaboration with prestigious institutions like UNESCO and the Arab World Institute added further credibility and depth to the discussions.

RIMM's 12th Edition

Under the Fig Trees

The grand finale, the screening of “Under the Fig Trees” at the Théâtre des Variétés, provided a poignant and artistic closure to the event. This cinematic journey complemented the themes explored during the meetings, leaving attendees with a lasting impression of the serene beauty and cultural significance of Mediterranean gardens.

Overall, the 12th edition of RIMM not only celebrated the splendour of Mediterranean gardens but also fostered a sense of unity and appreciation for the region’s natural and cultural heritage. The event’s thoughtful curation and the passionate engagement of speakers and participants alike ensured that it was a profound and enlightening experience for all.

About the President-Director of RIMM, Elizabeth Bréaud

Elisabeth BRÉAUD is an art historian. She taught art history before joining the Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historiques et des Sites, where she was responsible for the inventory (Malraux Law 1964) of sites and art objects in the Alpes-Maritimes.

In 1986, she founded the Monegasque Association for the Knowledge of the Arts, placed under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, which aims to promote the knowledge of ancient, modern, and contemporary arts. She organizes lecture series given by art historians, heritage conservators, art critics, university professors, and writers.

In 2001, Elisabeth BRÉAUD founded the International Monaco and the Mediterranean Meetings (RIMM), which she presides over and directs. Since their creation, the RIMM has brought together international experts at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco to discuss and reflect on the history and current affairs of Mediterranean countries. The aim is to promote dialogue and cooperation between the countries bordering the Mediterranean, both north and south, focusing on contemporary issues and contributing to a shared historical consciousness.

RIMM's 12th Edition

In a multidisciplinary spirit, the RIMM has organized twelve colloquiums in partnership with prestigious institutions: UNESCO, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, the Arab World Institute, CNRS, and the Biblioteca Alexandrina. Elisabeth Bréaud has published numerous articles and a book, “Le Patrimoine méditerranéen,” with Éditions du Rocher. She has participated in many international colloquiums.

She is:
– President of the Monegasque Association for the Knowledge of the Arts
– President and Director of the International Monaco and the Mediterranean Meetings
– Associate member and national correspondent of the Société Nationale des Antiquaires de France
– Member of the National Committee of UNESCO
– Member of the Board of Friends of the Villa Grecque Kérylos (Institut de France)
– Knight of the National Order of Merit
– Knight of Arts and Letters
– Officer of the Order of Saint Charles (Monaco)
– Officer of the Order of Cultural Merit (Monaco)

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