Monaco’s City Hall gave a press meeting to give a progress report concerning local construction projects and other events on the agenda for 2021. The Mayor gave an update about three big construction projects currently underway as well as the upcoming digital transition, the new Monegasque Identity Card, new public screens and upcoming cultural events. Although the COVID-19 epidemic has kept municipal teams busy since March, major municipal projects are still progressing throughout the Principality.
Construction update: Rainier III Academy
The first project concerns the Rainier III Academy which closed its doors last September due to technical problems with the building. Despite the building’s closure, musical education was maintained in the Principality.
“Rethinking this organization was not easy, but the General Secretariat of the Town Hall and the new management team headed by Jade Sapolin were able to mobilize and cope,” Mayor Georges Marsan said in his speech.
Teaching was resumed by relocating all courses to several sites: the Columbus Hotel where around 40 rooms were refurbished and transformed into classrooms, the Ecole de la Condamine, the Princess Stéphanie Youth Centre, the rehearsal room of the Condamine Fire Station and the Diocesan House.
Once the Rainier III Academy building was emptied, major works began. All the walls have been demolished and teams will be rebuilding the walls for the new classrooms. Construction is currently on schedule and the reopening of the building is set for the start of the 2021/2022 school year.
Exotic Garden closed until 2022
The second project which is currently underway and will continue throughout 2021 is the Exotic Garden. After lockdown, work began to secure and renovate the artificial rocks and the garden footbridges, with completion scheduled for January 2021. However, as the work progressed, the project turned out to be much larger than expected and the garden will remain closed throughout 2021.
“The Exotic Garden’s reopening is scheduled for 2022, according to a schedule which still remains to be defined,” the Mayor said in his speech.
Gardeners continue to take care of the plants under complicated conditions and the garden’s administrative team remains optimistic and motivated. All the other staff members (guards, cashiers) have accepted temporary positions in other departments. A statement concerning the Exotic Garden will be made in the near future by its communication department.
Villa Lamartine gets Eco Label
The third project concerns Villa Lamartine, which will be completely transformed to become an intergenerational living space. For this large-scale renovation, Monaco obtained a ‘BD2M eco-responsible renovation label’. This February, the José Notari Sonothèque and the Video library will be transferred to rue Princesse Antoinette, very close to the Louis Notari Library. The 250 m2 space will eventually be relocated (including Le Temps de Vivre Club, the Snoezelen space, as well as the A Pignata restaurant).
Digital Transition and the new Monegasque Identity Card
According to the Mayor, along with construction work, the second theme that will mark the year 2021 is the digital transition. In the next few months, the new Monegasque Identity Card will be rolled out, which will allow each Monegasque, if they wish, to have a secure digital identity. In the short term, this will greatly facilitate administrative procedures.
New Screens throughout Monaco
The Billboard and Advertising Department, also involved in the digital transition, will continue to modernize its networks, something which began in 2018. The objective of these changes is twofold: to make parks more spacious and gain aesthetics by modernization.
“Our digital fleet now includes: two large format screens: one at the Stade Louis II and the other at the Canton roundabout, seven 75-inch panels (installed between the end of 2018 and the end of 2020) positioned in La Condamine, the Galerie Sainte Dévote, avenue de la Madone and more recently on the Promenade Honoré II,” the Mayor said in his speech.
Digital development will continue with the installation of three screens at the entrances to the city as well as others at Larvotto, once the beach is finished.
Arts and Culture
Monaco’s arts and culture sector will be making a giant digital leap this year. The School of Fine Arts will organize its virtual open house on Saturday 13 February, and its entrance examination will also be organized remotely, from 8 to 26 March. The Academy is adapting and will record a Jazz and Current Music concert on 28 and 29 January. These concerts will be broadcast via social networks and Youtube.
The Media Library also remains active by organizing conferences, film clubs and more with a limited number of participants, by reservation and at times arranged to comply with the current curfew. For Monaco’s youth, the Caroline Library’s Games library has been a great success and has decided to continue opening on Saturday mornings until spring break.
“For entertainment, unfortunately, I can’t make any announcements at this stage but we remain optimistic and hope to offer a rich and varied entertainment program from June 2021,” said the Mayor in his speech, “this year will be rich in projects despite the continuing health crisis which requires a lot of adaptation.”
2021 will also see the launch of two new websites, one dedicated to Monaco: Magazine Vivre Ma Ville and the other dedicated to Espace Léo Ferré.