• Presentation of the Credentials of H.E. Ms. Isabelle Berro-Amade ï to Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

    After submitting her Credentials to Mr Charles MICHEL, President of the European Council, on 6 March 2020, H.E. Mrs. BERRO-AMADE7 gave her Credentials to Ms. Ursula VON DER LEYEN on Tuesday, May 11, President of the European Commission. This ceremony ends the accreditation procedure of the Ambassador, as Head of the Mission of the Principality of Monaco to the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. During the brief interview following the ceremony, the President of the European Commission expressed her admiration for the longstanding commitment of H.A.S. Prince Albert II to protecting the environment and combating climate change, areas that constitute also priorities for the European Union. Ms. VON DER LEYEN and H.E. Ms. BERRO-AMADE Ï welcomed the excellence of relations between the Principality of Monaco and the European Union and agreed to pursue them in the same spirit. © DR / Madam Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission (left) and H.E. Ms Isabelle Berro-Amade ï (right). Source : http://www.gouv.mc/

  • Miss Mexico crowned Miss Universe 2021

    Miss Mexico was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday in Florida, after fellow contestant Miss Myanmar used her stage time to draw attention to the bloody military coup in her country. Sunday night marked the Miss Universe competition's return to television, after the pageant was cancelled in 2020 for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic. Andrea Meza, 26, finished first ahead of the Brazilian and Peruvian finalists in a flashy televised event, hosted by American actor Mario Lopez and television personality Olivia Culpo. Former Miss Universe contestants Cheslie Kryst, Paulina Vega and Demi-Leigh Tebow (who won the title in 2017) served as competition analysts and commentators, and a panel of eight women determined the winner. Dressed in a sparkling red evening gown, Meza tearfully walked the catwalk as Miss Universe for the first time, before rushing back for a group hug with the other competitors. Meza beat more than 70 contestants from around the globe in the 69th installment of Miss Universe, which was held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. In the days leading up to the final competition, Miss Myanmar Thuzar Wint Lwin, who made the top 21, made waves when she used her time in the spotlight to bring attention to the coup in her country. "Our people are dying and being shot by the military every day," she said during her biographical video, which showed photos of her taking part in the anti-coup protests. "Therefore I would like to urge everyone to speak out about Myanmar." She also won the award for best national costume: during that competition segment on Thursday, she wore an outfit beaded in traditional Burmese patterns and held up a sign that said, "Pray for Myanmar." Myanmar has been in uproar since February 1, when the army ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. At least 796 people have been killed by security forces since then, according to a local monitoring group, while nearly 4,000 people are behind bars. Miss Singapore Bernadette Belle Ong -- who did not make the top 21 -- also used the national costume portion to make a political statement. Dressed in a glittering red bodysuit and matching thigh-high boots, she turned around to reveal her cape -- in the colors of the Singaporean flag -- was painted with the words "Stop Asian Hate." "What is this platform for if I can't use it to send a strong message of resistance against prejudice and violence?" she wrote on Instagram alongside pictures of her outfit. The United States in particular has seen a surge in anti-Asian violence in the past year, which activists have blamed on former president Donald Trump's rhetoric, especially his repeated description of Covid-19 as the "China virus." The pageant has also drawn criticism in the past for objectifying the contestants. In recent years, the competition has shifted image, focusing more on female empowerment and activism.

  • Reopening of the Larvotto resort with a completely renovated beach and ′′ historical ′′ merchants back

    In early July, the fully renovated public beach, will be open again for residents and tourists. All the shops residents used to attend will offer their services in new, state-made premises under development: - Plagists: Wind Rose, Neptune, Blue Note, Miami; - The Mullot Cooler, - The Unicorn; - The Jersey Palace; Larvotto Gym Center; - Monegasque Academy of the Sea / Blue School. Secondly, as early as this winter, residents and visitors will be able to enjoy a real new shopping area as seven additional businesses will complete the offer after the summer. The Government therefore wants the Larvotto Complex to be animated all year round, and that the proposed trade offer meets the expectations of all the customers of the Principality. To this end, a call for applications for the seven new premises will be published in the Journal of Monaco, May 14 and 21, 2021. The applications should be sent to the Domaines Administration by June 14 2021 to 12 pm. - Four premises will be able to accommodate all types of activities, excluding mouth activities, areas near 103, 98, 62 and 61 m2. - Three premises will permit the establishment of mouth activities such as restaurants, bars, brewery, coffee or tea room, in duplexes on the upper and lower promenade of Larvotto, totalling approximately 249, 209 and 185 m2, and a parcel of land on the top promenade, for terrace use, in case of restaurant / bar activity, approx. 125, 46 and 46 m2 respectively. The call for applications is purposely wide to allow a large number of candidates to apply and the Domestic Premises Assignment Commission to choose the most prominent signs attractive and activities able to lead this new shopping area all year round, while completing the existing offer offered by the shops that will have integrated the resort, this summer. For example, businesses likely to meet these objectives relate to 'Bazar Revisité' activities, house and office items, fashion and trendy accessories, beauty institutes, old-time toy store, arts and crafts; the concept of ephemeral sales could also be developed. The selected businesses, just like those who will be back in July, will have to open all year round and participate in the neighborhood entertainment. © Communication Direction / Vitali Manual Source : http://www.gouv.mc/

  • Rainier III Academy will be closed this week (until May 24th)

    Rainier III Academy will be closed this week (until May 24th). There will be no phone standard and emails will be handled as of May 25th when the administration returns. However, current Jazz Music exams are being held at the Jazz Department this afternoon (all concerned students have been summoned). Source : http://www.mairie.mc/

  • The World’s Oldest Cave Art Is Being Destroyed By Climate Crisis, A New Study Finds

    Some of the world’s oldest cave art is being lost due to the detrimental effects of climate change, according to a new study on the effects of climate change on Sulawesi’s Pleistocene rock art conducted by Jill Huntley and others from the Place, Evolution and Rock Art Heritage Unit at Griffith University in Australia. In southern Sulawesi, Indonesia, more than 300 cave sites are at risk of deterioration—this notably includes some of the earliest cave art ever created, even older than some better-known sites in Europe such as Lascaux and Chauvet. The art was created using red and mulberry pigments, and includes hand stencils, animal depictions, and images of human-animal hybrids. The Sulawesi caves are home to the oldest animal depiction—a warty pig that is at least 45,500 years old—as well as the oldest hand stencil in the world, made more than 39,900 years ago. One cave even contains what researchers describe as “possibly the earliest known narrative scene in prehistoric art” depicting a hunting scene. Salt, heat, and extreme weather events are contributing to the degradation of these important sites, researchers explained. The constant cycling between dry conditions and monsoon rainfall is causing a buildup of salts on the cave surfaces, leading to exfoliation. “When the solution evaporates, crystals form, expand, and contract as the environment heats and cools, causing repetitive strain.” This salt crystallization, also known as haloclasty, damages the limestone surfaces inside the caves, thereby creating cracks in the rock’s surfaces and causing the artwork to flake from it. The area in which Sulawesi is located (the Australasian monsoon region) is the most atmospherically dynamic on earth—making it particularly susceptible to anthropogenic climate change—and places it at high risk of losing an invaluable part of early human heritage. Researchers found that the rate of exfoliation is increasing. Local communities that have watched over the rock art sites for generations say the destruction has grown rapidly, with more loss in recent decades than at “any other time in living memory.” New rock art sites are found in Sulawesi every year, and some of the caves have yet to be explored. As the researchers explain, our climate crisis is “hastening the deterioration of the unique, irreplaceable record of early human artistic culture.”

  • $103 M. Picasso Stuns in Christie’s $481 M. 20th Century Art Sale as New Format Triumphs

    Christie’s follow-up to its new 21st century art sale, which brought in $211 million on Tuesday, was a slightly weightier 20th century art auction with 50 lots and a pre-sale estimate in excess of $345 million. Covering works made between 1880 and 1980, the auction made a grand total of $481.1 million, with just one lot unsold. (Prices for sold works include buyer’s premium; estimates do not.) This week’s marquee sales were bound to be a close call between Christies’s and Sotheby’s. Before they were held, the former’s two sales were expected to bring in $490 million, while the latter’s three-auction marathon the previous evening was estimated at $436 million. But last night’s auction made Christies’s new formula look like a winner. Nine works carried estimates higher than $10 million, so the sale was seen as a test of confidence at the high end of the market. Carrying the highest estimate of the week—and a third-party guarantee—was Pablo Picasso’s 1932 portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter seated in profile by a window. The painting was last seen at a Picasso exhibition at Tate Modern in 2017, where the lender was named as the Earth, Light Foundation in Vaduz, Switzerland. The seller of the work purchased it at Sotheby’s in 2013 for $45 million with premium, against an estimate of $25 million. The elusive owner made a modest gain, having accepted a guarantee and an estimate nearing $55 million. On Thursday night, bidding started at $55 million for the Picasso, with four bidders from London and New York sparring for the work for 20 minutes. It was eventually won by a bidder on the phone with Vanessa Fusco, Christie’s head of Impressionist and modern art in New York, for a final price of $103.4 million. Typically, a big sale such as this one generates a sense of relief and optimism, but because this auction was held digitally, that wasn’t the case here. Another Picasso, a guaranteed 1941 portrait of Dora Maar, was among the more highly priced lots, with a $15 million–$20 million estimate. The painting belonged to the Nahmad family of art dealers, who bought it in 1984 for $390,000 (without premium) and showed it in their Picasso exhibition in London in 1988. This time, it went to a Hong Kong bidder below the low estimate for $17.1 million with premium, after a short contest. Close behind was Mark Rothko’s 68-inch-high untitled indigo and dark green abstraction from 1970. It had previously been in the prestigious Paul and Bunny Mellon collection. Included in Bunny’s estate sale in 2014 with a $15 million low estimate, it had been pursued by dealer David Nahmad and advisor Nancy Whyte before selling above estimate for $39.9 million with premium. The buyer was whispered to have been venture capitalist Sassan Ghandehari and his wife Yasmin, who are based in London. With a $40 million estimate and a guarantee, it sold below estimate for $38 million. The star Impressionist lot was an atmospheric 1903 painting of Waterloo Bridge in the mist by Claude Monet that carried an estimate of $35 million. Sold to a Japanese buyer in the early 1980s by Joseph Nahmad, it went unsold in 1985 at Sotheby’s in London. In May 1999, following the popularity of a Museum of Fine Arts Boston exhibition about Monet, it was one of six works by the Impressionist that appeared on Sotheby’s rostrum in one sale. There, one mysterious telephone bidder went on a spending spree and picked up Waterloo Bridge for an above-estimate $9.35 million. At Thursday’s Christie’s sale, two of the most active under-bidders were on the phone with the house’s Hong Kong branch. The work sailed past its $40 million estimate as four bidders from London and New York took it to $48.5 million, courtesy of a winning bid from Maria Los, of the New York chairman’s office. The Post-Impressionist lead part was taken by Vincent van Gogh’s Le Pont de Trinquetaille (1888), which came from Israeli collector Joseph Hackmey, who had disposed of other works in Sotheby’s London March auction. Hackmey bought this painting in 2004 for $11.2 million, and was selling with it with a $25 million–$35 million estimate on Thursday. Backed by yet another third-party guarantee, it brought $37.4 million from a commission bid. Collector Aaron Fraenkel, who also sold a Picasso in March, parted ways with a Fernand Léger still life from 1938 in the Christie’s sale. In 2014, Fraenkel bought it at auction for $2.2 million at auction via a European dealer. It sold for $4.35 million, nearly double its $2.5 million estimate. Carrying the flag for modernists was a 1927 Piet Mondrian abstraction. Titled Composition: No. II, With Yellow, Red and Blue, it found its way to Japan in the 1980s and got caught up in the bad debt story when it was sold by Citibank in 1993 for a low estimate $882,500. The work sold below estimate for $26.1 million, most likely to the third-party guarantor. Work by Pop artists did not fare well. Roy Lichtenstein’s guaranteed Interior, Perfect Pitcher (1994), estimated at $20 million–$30 million, sold for $21.5 million. Andy Warhol’s Two Marilyns (Double Marilyn), 1962, which was guaranteed entirely by Christie’s, also sold below estimate, going for $15.8 million. That painting was owned by Italian cosmetics giant Dario Ferrari, who had better luck with a large alphabet embroidery by Alighiero e Boetti, which sold above estimate for a record-setting $4.6 million. Christie’s peppered the sale with trailblazing women artists whose markets are still rising. A new record was set for Grace Hartigan, normally the preserve of the American art sales, whose top price of $435,000 was set in 2018. Her sizable and colorful abstraction The Phoenix (1962) had been given a $400,000–$600,000 estimate and was expected to exceed that. It drew three bidders, including one from Hong Kong, before setting a new record of $687,500. With a Willem de Kooning neatly placed next door (which sold for a double-estimate $10.4 million), the sale picked up momentum with a roughly five-foot square untitled abstraction from 1962 by Lee Krasner. It had been bought in 2005 for $960,000. Krasner’s market has grown immensely since then—a much larger painting by her sold for over $11.7 million in 2019—and that may have made it possible to boost the price of this abstraction. With a low estimate of $5 million, it sold for $7.2 million. The Krasner was followed by an Alice Neel painting of her doctor’s waiting room, which carried an estimate of at $600,000–$800,000. Neel, who is currently the subject of a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has seen significant demand increase in the last decade. Jeremy Lewison, the former head of collections at Tate, advised her estate from 2003 to 2020, brokering a deal with London’s Victoria Miro gallery that placed her in the same stable as leading living artists like Peter Doig and Chris Ofili, as well as representation with David Zwirner in New York. Christie’s 1966 painting, which has been in the doctor’s family collection all along, carried one of the highest estimates yet for Neel, at $600,000–800,000. It attracted multiple bids, including one from Hong Kong, before selling for a record-setting $3 million. The sale then crossed the pond for Barbara Hepworth’s large 94-inch bronze sculpture Parent 11 (1970), from her late series of works known as “The Family of Man.” Estimated at $2.5 million, Parent 11 doubled the estimate and generated a new record by a whisker, selling for $7.11 million and surpassing the previous $7.08 million record, paid in 2014 for a large bronze sculpture. The top estimate among the women artists, though, was for a 1970s diptych by Joan Mitchell that measures seven feet wide. Titled Rain (1989), it carried a $10 million-15 million estimate. Christie’s had sold a slightly larger diptych from the Laurence Fertita collection in 2020, for a mid-estimate $14.5 million (not far off the May 2018 record of $16.6 million), to a Hong Kong bidder, signaling that Asian interest may be driving the market after the Mitchell boom appeared to have plateaued. But that passion is still alive, and without any assistance from Asia this time, the painting sold within estimate for $12.4 million. For those interested in how the sale was split (using Christie’s old categories), Impressionist and modern art made up less than half the lots but contributed more than half to the proceeds. Among the Impressionist star performers were a pair of sparkling, fresh-to-market Seurat oil studies that had been in the Robert Treat Paine family collection for nearly 100 years. One, made for his famous painting A Sunday on La Grande Jatte (1884), sold for an over-estimate $13.2 million.

  • Elon Musk crushes bitcoin again with just one word

    The world’s largest crypto, bitcoin, went into freefall on Sunday, after billionaire Elon Musk fueled speculation in a Twitter exchange that his company, Tesla, may consider selling or has sold its holdings in the cryptocurrency. “Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their #Bitcoin holdings,” a user named CryptoWhale said in a tweet on Sunday. “With the amount of hate @elonmusk is getting, I wouldn’t blame him,” he added. Musk simply responded with a single word: “Indeed.” The price of bitcoin sank almost 8.5% afterwards to as low as $42,441 a coin on Monday. That was the biggest slump in more than three months, and one of bitcoin’s biggest drops in value since the price first began to soar in January. Last week, Musk hit the top crypto with an unexpected announcement that Tesla was suspending purchases of its vehicles using bitcoin, due to environmental concerns. The billionaire cited issues with the increasing use of fossil fuels in mining bitcoin, particularly coal, as it takes massive amounts of electricity to create a single token. He added that Tesla had no plans to sell any more of its bitcoin, but confirmed that the company is looking at other cryptocurrencies that are much less reliant on energy. Just three months ago, Musk, a big supporter of cryptocurrencies, revealed that Tesla had invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin. In March, he announced that the automaker would accept the cryptocurrency as payment for Tesla’s pricey electric vehicles. The announcements sent bitcoin prices soaring at the time.

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