In front of the Hermitage hotel, legs smeared with color are struggling in a pot. This work by Robert Combas will be on sale by Artcurial on July 22 as part of the Monaco Sculptures operation. A few meters away, Place du Casino, the Swiss gallery Hauser & Wirth has just opened its Monegasque branch in the impressive basement, furnished in a brutalist style, of a brand new building. A little further on, regulars at the Cipriani restaurant will be able, between two strokes of the fork, to buy works by Christo and Giacometti as well as some jewelry put on sale by Christie’s until July 18. Its rival Sotheby’s is not to be outdone: throughout the summer, the auction house of Patrick Drahi offers in an ephemeral gallery some thirty works estimated between 50,000 and 6 million euros, as well as vintage luxury accessories. .
« Monaco is living a new golden age ”, wants to believe Nancy Dotta, person in charge on the spot of Christie’s who had not seen for a long time such great maneuvers in the Principality. ” People’s perception is changing ”, abounds the gallery owner Iwan Wirth. For this powerful Swiss merchant, there is no doubt: “If the artistic caliber remains high, Monaco’s place in the international artistic scene is guaranteed. “
Colossal pool of collectors
The goal of all these professionals is clear: to seduce the approximately 37,000 silver residents who benefit from both the sun and the tax advantages. And, beyond, touch the Provençal hinterland. “Between the French and Italian Riviera, the Provençal hinterland and the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, the pool of collectors, especially Italians and Belgians, is colossal”, says gallery owner Nathalie Obadia, who takes part in the artmonte-carlo fair, the fifth edition of which begins on July 15.
“If the artistic caliber remains high, Monaco’s place in the international artistic scene is guaranteed. »Iwan Wirth, gallery owner
Since Brexit, some great London fortunes have even moved there. “Several thousand buyers pass through Monaco between July and October”, adds Olivier Fau, contemporary art specialist at Sotheby’s in France. For him, this vacation period is “The best time to fully understand the tastes and needs of collectors, because they have time”. The experience was conclusive in the summer of 2020 in the Hamptons, the chic seaside resort popular with New Yorkers, where Patrick Drahi’s auction house sold works for around $ 50 million.
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