[caption id="attachment_20774" align="alignnone" width="640"] Dmitry Rybolovlev Photo: Francknataf[/caption]
Sotheby’s, the prestigious auction house, is preparing to contest a legal challenge from Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Monaco resident and billionaire owner of AS Monaco.
Sotheby’s expects that the Russian tycoon will use the British courts to claim that they may have acted improperly in the long-running case involving Yves Bouvier, the Swiss art dealer.
The auction house, which has its head quarters in the US, has said it would “vigorously” fight any action brought by Rybolovlev, saying that any suggestion it had been involved in fraudulent conduct or taken part in a conspiracy to inflate the values of art works was “categorically false”.
Rybolovlev has claimed in a number of jurisdictions that Bouvier cheated him by marking up the prices of up to 40 art works. In particular, attention has fallen on Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, which Bouvier bought for €66 million ($80 million) at a private Sotheby’s sale, which he then sold for a reported €104 ($127 million) to the Russian.
Rybolovlev has claimed that Bouvier was acting as his agent and so had a duty not to mark up items he bought on his behalf. He has also asserted, through his lawyers, that Samuel Valette, Sotheby’s Senior Director, Vice Chairman, Private Sales Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art, had written bullish assessments of a number of works that Bouvier forwarded on to him.
Meanwhile, Salvator Mundi was subsequently sold by the Russian for a record €382 million ($450 million) in a Christies sale.
[caption id="attachment_27233" align="alignnone" width="960"] Prince Albert inaugurates centre;. Photo: Facebook Croix-Rouge Burkinabe[/caption]
For many years, SMEG, Monaco’s electric and gas utility company, has sponsored various sustainable initiatives. These programs are sometimes financed by SMEG or supported by the association Energy Assistance Monaco (EAM).
"Few people realise,” says Christian Philipon, SMEG Project Manager and EAM Vice-President, “that SMEG has hosted EAM – who looks to sponsor international humanitarian projects aimed at providing assistance, logistics and equipment to populations without access to electricity – since its creation in 2011.”
Members of EAM are volunteers, employees of SMEG and Cometh Somoclim – trade professionals in air-conditioning, heating, ventilation and energy services in the Principality – who are committed to benevolent and ecological projects.
EAM follows the ethos of its founding branch, Energy Assistance (EA), created in Belgium in 2001 by employees of Tractebel, Electrabel and Fabricom to bring together volunteers – a combination of retirees and employees of the energy sector. EA France was founded in 2005, EA Monaco and EA Italy in 2011.
Giving second life to Monaco's pavilion
One of SMEG’s most challenging humanitarian projects has been providing photovoltaic equipment for the new Aquatic Rescue and Training Centre in Loumbila, near Burkina Faso, which was inaugurated today in the presence of Prince Albert, the Monaco Red Cross, SMEG and the Burkinabè Red Cross.
SMEG’s involvement in the centre dates back to 2014, when designing the Monaco pavilion – with the theme "Feeding the planet, energy for life” – for the Universal Exhibition in Milan, that could be given a “second life” by recycling the building.
Based on a suggestion from the Monaco Red Cross (CRM), the government validated the "transformation" of the Milan pavilion to become an innovative and sustainable training and rescue centre near Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.
Financial and technical support
In 2015, at the request of CRM, SMEG carried out a study which concluded that for a reliable and sustainable electricity supply, a solar hybrid solution with energy storage, conceived on the main part of the isolated site, would offer the best guarantees.
As a result, and with a €250,000 budget financed by SMEG, the centre was equipped with a photovoltaic field with a power of 56 kWp, a stationary battery bank of 4700Ah under 48V, and a set of inverters to supply the pavilion with three-phase power.
A solar generator prioritises energy supply to the roof of the building, and the surplus of energy is stored in a battery bank to ensure continuity of power in case of power loss or a network outage.
In case of high electricity consumption, or a day of bad weather, additional energy is provided by the public network or the generator. A set of inverters/chargers creates a three-phase, 400-volt "microgrid" to which the photovoltaic inverters are connected.
High tech equipment and energy production
The annual energy produced will be about 100 MWh, which represents the annual electricity consumption of some 30 households of four people in France. This local production will limit use of the public electricity grid.
Control and monitoring equipment with graphical interface has been installed to allow real time visualisation of the different energy flows within the set-up, as well as the precise level of battery charge. Subject to internet connection, remote monitoring will be possible via a data logging system.
SMEG CEO Thomas Battaglione and Christian Philipon were on hand for the opening of the Aquatic Rescue and Training Centre. Mr Battaglione commented, "The significant reduction in the electricity bill, often the largest expense of such a structure, will facilitate the financial start-up of the centre and thus contribute to its long-term training and action activities in the service of the poor.”
Article first published January 12, 2018.
[caption id="attachment_27219" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: Facebook Mairie de Monaco[/caption]
The celebrations of Monaco’s patron saint, Sainte Devote, will take place on Friday, January 26, and Saturday, January 27.
As one of the oldest traditions of the Principality, the marking of the saint’s day has permeated Monaco’s national culture in fields as diverse as religion, folklore, popular beliefs, history, literature, arts, painting, music, numismatics and philately.
The legend of Saint Devote stems from a medieval document, and is a tradition holding a very special place in the heart of Monegasques and permanently attested to over the centuries in the history of the city.
According to the legend, Devota (Devote), a young Christian native of Corsica, was martyred by the prefect Barbarus under the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian on a date that could be 303 or 304. Her body, stolen the following night by the faithful, was put in a boat, brought to Monaco and buried in a chapel of the valley called "Gaumates", near the port, on January 27 of the same year.
[caption id="attachment_27223" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: Facebook Mairie de Monaco[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_27221" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: Facebook Mairie de Monaco[/caption]
Under Honoré II, in the seventeenth century, Sainte Devote became patron saint of Monaco. The tradition has been celebrated every year since 1874: as the most significant part of the reeanactment, a small boat is burned in the presence of the Sovereign and the Princely Family, accompanied by Monegasque personalities. Once the boat is burned, a fireworks display is held at Port Hercule.
On January 27, the feast day, a solemn Mass is celebrated in the Cathedral by the Archbishop of the Diocese. The Princely Family, the Prince's Government, the elected assemblies and the constituted bodies as well as many faithful attend this ceremony. A procession takes the direction of the Prince's Palace with the shrine containing the relics escorted by the Carabiniers du Prince.
The procession stops on the Place du Palais, where an Honour Guard and the orchestra of the Carabiniers du Prince pay tribute. A celebrant then blesses the Princely Family with the relics. The procession proceeds to the ramparts, where another celebrant blesses Monaco and its population. Finally, back in front of the Cathedral, a last celebrant blesses the sea and fishermen.
[caption id="attachment_27220" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: Facebook Mairie de Monaco[/caption]
Thursday 2 and Saturday 4 November, 8 pm, Monte-Carlo Opera – Salle Garnier
La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini with Edgardo Rocha, Nicola Alaimo, Carlos Chausson, Rebeca Olvera, Cecilia Bartoli, the Monte-Carlo Opera Chorus and the Prince’s Musicians, conducted by Gianluca Capuano.
Information: +377 98 06 28 28