HSH Princess Stephanie celebrated International Aids Day by handing out eight memorial quilts at the Oceanographic Museum, each quilt carrying the names, birthdates and dates of death of 72 victims of the disease.
Each quilt is four by four metres and the highly original works of art have been made by volunteers since 2011.
Hervé Aeschbach, coordinator of Fight Aids Monaco, said: “This is a high point in the life of the association. First for the preparation of quilts, where volunteers and affiliates work to draw, sew, assemble. There are many hours of work, in which everyone talks about the people they honour. And then today, the presentation of quilts to the public is the second high point. Some of these 16-square-metre works of art will be exhibited at the Ministry of State, the National Council and the Lycée Technique et Hôtelier.”
Princess Stephanie, the founding president of Fight Aids Monaco, said: “It’s very emotional. We are here to remember those who died in the physical suffering, and often in mental suffering, abandonment, isolation. We show them today that we are there, we support without judging them, even if they are no longer on this earth. It is important to take action because, nowadays, no one does anything in neighbouring countries, we talk a little on TV, and that’s it. HIV is a forgotten cause. Monaco is a small country but it does much more than large countries in terms of information, awareness, education. International Aids Day is made to remember that HIV exists, that HIV kills, it hits every day, regardless of social class, religion, ethnicity or skin colour.”
This year marks 35 years since the discovery of the disease that was soon to be called AIDS.