Monaco has developed close ties with the automobile from the end of the 19th century, a relationship some would say amounts to no less than a love story.

For the first time, an exhibition will celebrate this affair by bringing together many rare automotive items will take place in the Ravel space of the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco’s international cultural centre.

More than fifty unique vehicles, the pedigree of which – chassis number, prize ranking, and so on – has been authenticated by the organising committee of the exhibition, will testify to the richness of the Principality’s automotive history.

In addition to these vehicles, visitors will not only be able to admire artefacts from the period, but also rare documents as well as unpublished photographs and videos connected with the princely family, Monegasque drivers and two legendary races, the Monaco Grand Prix and the Monte-Carlo Rally.

The event is supported by the Prince’s Palace, the Automobile Club of Monaco and the Automobile Club of France, which, together with the general curator and the Grimaldi Forum, have joined forces to bring together all of these heritage items that will be on show for almost two months.

“Although Monaco is a major location for the automobile, no retrospective of this kind has yet been organised”, said Sylvie Biancheri, general manager of the Grimaldi Forum Monaco. After the exhibition devoted to Dali, which met with a great deal of success over last summer, a very powerful idea connected with the Principality was needed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Grimaldi Forum. This theme seemed obvious to us, and after two and a half years of work, we are now delighted to see this project taking shape. More than an automotive exhibition, this exceptional event will bear the artistic and cultural signature we apply to all our major events”.

“Monaco and the Automobile from 1893 to today will be a great event”, says Rodolphe Rapetti, general curator of the exhibition, General Heritage Curator and Director of the National Domains and Museums of Compiègne and Blérancourt. “Firstly, there is the unique relationship between Monaco and the automobile, which has lasted since the end of the 19th century. Then there is the quality of this exhibition, which will bring together rare objects that will generate powerful emotions in all generations of visitors. Through this panorama, the whole history of the automobile will be seen by the visiting public.”

Every summer the Grimaldi Forum puts on a large themed exhibition devoted to a major artistic movement, a subject connected with heritage or civilisation, or any major subject.

PHOTO: Automobile Club of Monaco, which this year celebrates 130 years