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Visit by H.S.H. Prince Albert II to Paris in tribute to Prince Albert I

After numerous events in the Principality, but also in Germany, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the French Pyrenees, H.S.H. Prince Albert II travelled to the French capital on Tuesday 6 December to conclude the two-day commemoration of the centenary of the death of Prince Albert I.

Albert I was born and died in Paris (1848-1922), and it was in the capital that he tirelessly carried out political, diplomatic and scientific activities, notably through the creation of two foundations: the Oceanographic Institute and the Institute of Human Palaeontology. He was a member of numerous Parisian scholarly and academic institutions and participated in the Universal Exhibitions in Paris in 1889 and 1900.

Late Tuesday morning, H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince unveiled a commemorative plaque at 10 Avenue du Président Wilson, the Parisian home of His great-great-grandfather, which was purchased in 1899 and became the seat of the Nunciature in 1923. He then visited the premises in the company of Mgr Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio to France.

The Monegasque and French delegations then went to the Trocadero gardens to place flowers by the plaque of Avenue Albert I, named on 22 January 1932 by the Paris Council. On this occasion, Laurence Boone, Secretary of State for Europe, representing President Emmanuel Macron, who is currently travelling abroad, paid France's tribute to the Prince, a scientist and navigator, but also a humanist and pacifist.

The Sovereign then hosted a lunch in honour of the French Minister, the Ambassadors present and His delegation.

In the afternoon, the Prince went to the Institute of France to attend a special session of the Academy of Sciences given in tribute to Prince Albert I, who was a member of the Institute, a foreign associate of the Academy of Sciences. The Institute of France has included the 100th anniversary of Prince Albert I's death among the French national commemorations for 2022.

Welcomed by Xavier Darcos, Chancellor of the Institute, the Sovereign attended the speeches of several academicians in the main session room, who, in their respective disciplines, emphasised the importance of Albert I's legacy for science today. The Prince then said a few words of thanks, before moving to the library where He was presented with originals of Prince Albert I's papers and the notebooks of His collaborators. This visit ended with the unveiling of the bronze bust of His great-great-grandfather gifted to the Institute of France.

On Wednesday 7 December, H.S.H. Prince Albert II continued His visit to the Ile-de-France region in memory of His great-great-grandfather Prince Albert I. In Médan, in the Yvelines, welcomed by the prefect of the department, Jean-Jacques Brot, and the mayor of the town, Karine Kauffmann, He visited the Maison Zola and the Dreyfus Museum.

Accompanied by Martine Le Blond-Zola, great-granddaughter of the writer and vice-president of the Maison Zola-Musée Dreyfus association, Charles Dreyfus, grandson of Alfred Dreyfus and vice-president of the association, and Louis Gautier, president of the association, the Sovereign was able to visit the fully restored property that Emile Zola had acquired in 1878 thanks to the success of L'Assommoir. He spent twenty-four years of his life there, and it was in Médan that he wrote Nana, Germinal and La Bête humaine.

In order to present the intertwined destinies of Zola and Dreyfus, a museum dedicated to the Dreyfus Affair has been set up in a wing of the house. Presented as a journey of documents, photographs, projections and songs, this permanent exhibition has been awarded the "Musée de France" certification. The Prince’s visit, guided by Philippe Oriol, the museum's scientific director, and Vincent Duclert, a historian who is also a specialist in the Affair, was an opportunity to recall Prince Albert I's commitment to Dreyfus and Zola in 1898. H.S.H. the Prince offered an original photograph of the house, taken in 1890 by Alexandrine Zola, and dedicated in 1907 to Prince Albert I. He then took part in a lunch organised in the billiard room.

At the end of the day, the Prince visited UNESCO, which this year sponsored the commemorations of the centenary of the death of Prince Albert I. After a meeting with Audrey Azoulay, Director General of the organisation, the Sovereign chatted for a few minutes with Christophe Béchu, French Minister for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, representing the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron.

In a conference room, Prince Albert first listened to the speeches of H.E. Mrs Anne-Marie Boisbouvier, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Monaco to UNESCO, and of the Director General of UNESCO, before addressing a large audience who had come to attend the conference "Science in the service of humanity. Prince Albert I of Monaco and his work", presented by Érik Orsenna, of the Académie française.


Visit by H.S.H. Prince Albert II to Paris in tribute to Prince Albert I