[caption id="attachment_26333" align="alignnone" width="640"] Monegasque delegation with Marie-Catherine Caruso-Ravera, Director of Diplomatic and Consular Relations, Isabelle Picco, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Monaco to the UN, Valérie Bruell-Melchior, Deputy Permanent Representative, and Florian Botto, Third Secretary at the Permanent Mission. Photo: DC[/caption]
Monaco Explorations and the Principality's initiatives for the oceans have been in the spotlight at the UN. Isabelle Rosabrunetto, Director General of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, accompanied by Marie-Catherine Caruso-Ravera, Director of Diplomatic and Consular Relations, visited the United States, from December 4 to 8, to make working visits to the various Monaco Diplomatic and Consular Missions.
In New York, she delivered an important speech to the UN General Assembly during the debate on oceans and the law of the sea.
Her address was an opportunity to recall Monaco's priorities, such as the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, ocean acidification, marine protected areas, the fight against marine pollution as well as the Principality’s support for hydrography and marine cartography.
The importance of marine science and scientific collaboration was also at the heart of the Director General's speech, citing as examples the Yersin’s ports of call in Madeira, Cape Verde and Martinique, in accordance with the vision of SAS the Sovereign Prince to "reconcile humanity and the sea."
The Principality also supports the initiative of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission to proclaim a Decade of Ocean Sciences from 2021 to 2030. Two draft resolutions of the General Assembly on oceans and the law of the sea in general and on the sustainability of fisheries were adopted at the end of the debate.
By the end of the year, the General Assembly is expected to adopt a third resolution to convene an Intergovernmental Conference to develop a new International Instrument for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity.
“To do a Burberry: meaning to successfully revive a famous but moribund heritage name.”
I’m killing time before lunch at Le Castelroc restaurant on The Rock with the latest copy of Vogue magazine as Alexandra Schulman’s prescient words jump out at me. I have grabbed an outdoor table beside a pretty stone folly to best admire the picture-perfect views: I gaze on one side past cannon-ball pyramids towards the Princely Palace and on the other side down the rocky escarpment towards the sea. No other restaurant in Monaco can rival this location.
Run by the Bonafède family since 1953, Le Castelroc restaurant is synonymous with Monaco heritage. Francis Bonafède is the Godfather of Monegasque cuisine. He ran by the Monegasque motto “cun de pan e de vin se po invita u vizin” (With bread and wine, you can invite your neighbour to dine). His legendary Stockfish stew recipe has helped to keep four generations of Bonafède restaurateurs in business.
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In 2007, I celebrated my daughter’s christening here with a glamorous crowd of friends revelling in champagne, barbajuans (Swiss-chard fritters) and a towering profiterole christening cake. A photo of me against the backdrop of the palace with Baby Dior christening present bags slung over each shoulder caused endless jokes amongst old Cambridge University friends that I had found my inner jetsetter at last.
A decade later, I’m taken aback by the state of the place. The first thing that strikes me is that the front entrance of the restaurant has been engulfed by the neighbouring gift shop selling tourist knick-knacks so that you have to enter via a side entrance. The next thing I see is the transformation of the smart bar area into a bar-cum-depot for unloved furniture with one table as a makeshift desk scattered with paperwork. Finally I notice the worn beige undercloths and scarce clientele. I reflect that this Monegasque icon is looking a little moribund itself.
Once my partner has arrived, we study the tidy two-page menu that celebrates Monegasque and Mediterranean dishes. A brusque waiter takes our order and then bats away my proffered camera saying he’s far too busy to take a photo. Afterwards a kind-hearted tourist who has witnessed the scene from a neighbouring table offers to take our photo instead.
My tomato-and-burrata starter arrives in an impressive Technicolor of orange, red and yellow tomatoes. However, the burrata is rather hard (for a cheese that should be a melting combination of mozzarella and cream) and I’m not sure why the dish has been sprinkled with Parmesan. Luckily my clam pasta main course so hits the spot that I am tempted to polish the plate with my bread in enjoyment.
As our waiter clears the pasta dishes, he remarks that he is ready to take our photo now that we have “les yeux rouges” (red eyes), after our lunch in the sun. My partner looks a little red-eyed with crossness as he asks for the bill. Yet as we finish off our glasses in the spring sunshine looking down over the leafy rooftops of Fontvieille, I reflect that there are few places to parallel a lazy lunch here even on an off day like this.
Le Castelroc is a slice of our national identity. It is as important to Monegasque cuisine as the beloved Chez Roger stall in La Condamine market, which was revived successfully last month following a sustained public campaign: SOS Socca. With more and more competition within the principality from deep-pocketed international brands and celebrity chefs, we must seek inventive ways to sustain hard-working Monegasque dining dynasties. How about a Monegasque Culinary Heritage Foundation?
Le Castelroc, 1 place du Palais. Tel: (+377) 93 30 36 68
Article first published March 21, 2017.
[caption id="attachment_26356" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: Manuel Vitali/DC[/caption]
The NMNM (Nouveau Musée National de Monaco) and UBS Monaco have renewed their partnership, continuing a collaboration that has lasted for five years.
Agnes Falco, Managing Director, General Manager of UBS (Monaco) SA, said: "As an economic actor of Monaco for more than 60 years, it is our responsibility to make a lasting commitment to develop the attractiveness of the market by investing both in the development of our offers and services and in supporting Contemporary Art is part of the DNA of the UBS brand.
Ms Falco added, “This partnership with the NMNM reflects our deep desire to actively participate in the cultural development of the Principality, by allowing the Museum to perfect its collection and to be able to offer an exhibition programme within Villa Paloma and Villa Sauber throughout the year.”
Welcoming the renewal of the bank’s support, Marie-Claude Beaud, Director of the New National Museum of Monaco, commented: “From the beginning of our partnership and to this day, we have been fortunate to have support and understanding of a rare philanthropic quality in relation to our needs and requests.
Thanks to UBS, for the year 2018 and those to come, we will be able to continue our research and carry out a complete programme of amazing and original exhibition projects.”
Among the highlights of the 2018 programme, the NMNM will present an exhibition of ten recent acquisitions that have integrated the Museum's collections with the support of UBS. The artists honoured in this first instalment are Matti Braun, Natalie du Pasquier, Francesco Gennari, Apostolos Georgiou, Jef Geys, Joao Maria Gusmao plus Pedro Paiva, Jean-Michel Sanejouand and Daniel Steegmann Mangrane.
From the beginning, the NMNM, with the support of UBS, has been able to develop important exhibitions and publications but also to acquire works of art. Several projects were also able to be realised in collaboration with the presentation of works from the UBS Art Collection starting with Ed Ruscha's works on paper in 2013, in the Table of Contents of Villa Paloma, a series highlighting a work by an artist honoured John Baldessari in 2014 and Thomas Struth in 2016.
The same year at the NMNM an exhibition by Thomas Demand connected the works of the collection of the UBS Art Collection Museum, and an off-the-wall project was embodied by the immersive installation "cloak" by the British artist Mike Nelson in the Monegasque headquarters of UBS Avenue of Great Britain, then in the process of renovation.