H.S.H. Prince Albert II visited the French capital this week to close, for two days, the year of commemoration of the centenary of Prince Albert I passing away.
Albert I (1848-1922) was born and died in Paris, and it was in the capital that he carried out tireless political, diplomatic and scientific activity, notably through the creation of two foundations: the Oceanographic Institute and the Institute of Human Paleontology. He was a member of many scholarly and academic institutions in Paris and participated in the universal exhibitions of Paris in 1889 and 1900.
Commemorative Plaque at Parisian Home of Prince Albert I
Late last Tuesday morning, H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince unveiled a commemorative plaque at 10 avenue du President Wilson, the Parisian home of His great-great-grandfather, bought in 1899 and which became the seat of the Nunciature in 1923. He then visited the premises in the company of Msgr. Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio to France.
Plaque at Avenue Albert I, Trocadero Gardens
Then, the Monegasque and French delegations went to the Trocadero gardens to decorate the plaque on Avenue Albert I, named on January 22, 1932 by the Council of Paris. On this occasion, Laurence Boone, Secretary of State for Europe, representing President Emmanuel Macron, who is currently travelling abroad, paid homage from France to the learned and navigator Prince, but also a humanist and pacifist.
The Sovereign then offered a lunch in honour of the French minister, the ambassadors present and his delegation.
Homage at Academy of Sciences and Unveiling of Bust for Institut de France
In the afternoon, the Prince went to the Institut de France to attend a special meeting of the Academy of Sciences given in homage to Prince Albert I, who was a member of the Institute, associate foreigner from the Academy of Sciences.
The Institut de France has included the 100th anniversary of the death of Prince Albert I among the 2022 French national commemorations.
Welcomed by Xavier Darcos, Chancellor of the Institute, the Sovereign attended in the large meeting room the speeches of several academicians, who, in their discipline, underlined the importance of the heritage of Albert I for current science. The Prince then said a few words of thanks, before heading to the library where he was presented with the originals of Prince Albert I’s communications and the notebooks of his collaborators. This sequence ended with the unveiling of the bronze bust of His great-grandfather offered to the Institut de France.
On Wednesday December 7, H.S.H. Prince Albert continued His trip to Ile-de-France in memory of His great-grandfather Prince Albert I.
Princely Visit to Maison Zola and the Dreyfus Museum
In Médan, in the Yvelines, welcomed by the prefect of the department, Jean-Jacques Brot, and the mayor of the town, Karine Kauffmann, he visited the Maison Zola and the Dreyfus Museum.
Surrounded by Martine Le Blond-Zola, great-granddaughter of the writer and vice-president of the Maison Zola-Musée Dreyfus association, Charles Dreyfus, grandson of Alfred Dreyfus and vice-president of the association, and by Louis Gautier, president of the association, the Sovereign was able to discover, completely restored, the property that Emile Zola had acquired
in 1878 thanks to the success of L’Assommoir. He spent twenty-four years of his life there, and it was in Médan that he wrote Nana, Germinal and La Bête Humaine.
In order to present the crossed destinies of Zola and Dreyfus, a museum dedicated to the Dreyfus Affair has been set up in a wing of the house. Presented as a journey of documents, photographs, projections, and songs, this permanent exhibition benefits from the designation “Musée de France”. The Princely visit, guided by Philippe Oriol, scientific director of the museum, and Vincent Duclert, a historian who also specializes in the Affair, was an opportunity to recall Prince Albert I’s commitment to Dreyfus and Zola in 1898. H.S.H. the Prince offered an original photograph of the house, taken in 1890 by Alexandrine Zola, and dedicated in 1907 to Prince Albert I. He then took part in a lunch organized in the billiard room.
Prince Albert II Speaking at UNESCO Conference
At the end of the day, the Prince went to UNESCO, which this year sponsored the commemorations of the centenary of the death of Prince Albert I. After an interview with Audrey Azoulay, Director General of the organization, the Sovereign spoke for a few minutes with Christophe Béchu, French Minister for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, representing the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron.
In a conference room, Prince Albert first listened to the speeches of H.E. Mrs. Anne-Marie Boisbouvier, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Monaco to UNESCO, and the Director General of UNESCO, before speaking himself in front of a large audience who had come to attend the conference “Science at the service of humanity. Prince Albert I of Monaco and his work”, presented by Érik Orsenna, from the French Academy.
The speeches paid homage to Albert I, the learned prince and navigator but also great humanist and pacifist.