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Le poing - Artiste : CÉSAR - Date de création : 1980 - Matériaux : Bronze à patine brune - Collection : NMNM © Frédéric Nebinger

There are more than 150 sculptures and fountains by artists to be discovered in the gardens, streets and squares of the Principality, thanks to the Rainier III Sculpture Trail.

In every neighbourhood of the Principality, sculptures by contemporary artists sit alongside older works. In Fontvieille, César’s Le poing [The Fist] (1980) challenges Bourdelle’s Grande baigneuse accroupie [Large Crouching Bather] (1906–1907). In the Rose Garden, residents and visitors will encounter Kees Verkade’s tribute to Princess Grace (1983), Woman Smoking a Cigarette by Botero (1987) or Evolution (1979) by Emma de Sigaldi, the late twentieth-century Monegasque sculptor… On Place du Casino, Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror has, over time, become one of the iconic symbols of Monte-Carlo.

This open-air museum, featuring several hundred sculptures and fountains by artists, is the result of a cultural policy launched during Prince Rainier III’s reign. Continuing the tradition followed by the Princes of Monaco of patronising the arts, in 1987 the head of state established the Monte-Carlo International Sculpture Festival under the aegis of the Printemps des Arts Festival. The Monegasque State purchased hundreds of the works exhibited as part of this event, which was held until 2004, and installed them in the Principality’s public spaces on a permanent basis. The aim was to introduce people of all generations to contemporary art. Over the years, the collection has been supplemented with both commissioned works and donations.

La fontaine aux oiseaux - Artiste : Jean-Michel FOLON - Date de création : 1994 - Matériaux : Bronze à patine verte antique - Collection : NMNM © Frédéric Nebinger

In 2023, as part of the commemorations marking the centenary of Prince Rainier III’s birth, a trail featuring 150 works was created to showcase this heritage. Named the Rainier III Sculpture Trail, it offers a route that winds through the city’s various neighbourhoods. By scanning the QR codes on plaques installed close to each sculpture, visitors can access information about the specific history of the work, the artist and their relationship with the Principality. An interactive map shows the location of each sculpture and guides those following the trail to the next one.

It is also an opportunity to discover the homages paid by Monaco to motorsports, with the bronze statue of Juan Manuel Fangio, one of the greatest drivers of all time, who is depicted with his race care (by Joaquim Ros Sabate), or the statue of the first winner of the Monaco Grand Prix in April 1929, William Grover, or “Williams”, at the wheel of his Bugatti. At the port, there is also a bust of Monegasque driver Louis Alexandre Chiron, the only driver to have won both the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Monte-Carlo Rally!
 There’s also Sassona Norton’s Et Purus, which criticises the harmful effects of doping.

Sky Mirror - Artiste : Anish KAPOOR - Date de création : 1999 - Matériaux : Acier inoxydable/surface polie - Collection : État/NMNM © DAU

The trail also allows visitors to gain a better understanding of the links between the contemporary British–Indian artist Anish Kapoor and the Principality. His father, Commodore D.C. Kapoor, was elected Director of the International Hydrographic Bureau in April 1972, and subsequently re-elected twice. He lived in the Principality until 1982, and several members of the Kapoor family completed some of their education in the Principality.

Find out more : www.cheminsculpturesrainier3.mc