On December 4 Monaco’s Ribolzi Gallery celebrates 100 continuous years, firstly in Lugano, and from 1974 in Monaco.

Speaking to NEWS.MC, owner Adriano Ribolzi said that the original plan to mark the occasion included a reception at the Gallery in the centre of Monte-Carlo, combined with an exhibition of the sculptures of Pablo Atchugarry.

The coronavirus crisis interfered with the original plan, but Mr Ribolzi was not deterred.

“Why is the virus bigger than me?” he asked, adding that he decided the exhibition would go ahead, but in a different format.

The exhibition will run for the whole of December.

“I am very grateful to the Sovereign Prince that Monaco is not in lockdown. Everyone can come to the gallery.”

It was Mr Ribolzi’s father, Annibale, who opened the gallery in the lakeside town of Lugano in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, on December 4, 1920.

“The gallery met with quite good success. We specialised in French antique furniture. But I wanted to give it an international dimension, and the obvious solution was to come to Monaco.”

Staying at the Hotel de Paris in 1974 and looking for premises, Mr Ribolzi found the building he was looking for next to the Hotel Hermitage. “It was love at first sight,” he said.

The following year, 1975, the first Monaco Biennale was held at the Sporting d’Hiver, and the next year in Paris. “It was a great period,” Mr Ribolzi said.

Since then the Adriano Ribolzi Gallery has gone from strength to strength.

The marking of the 100 years of the Ribolzi Gallery, in Lugano and Monaco, will be a more subdued affair than had been planned. But the coronavirus has been challenged, and together with the exhibition of the sculptures of Pablo Atchugarry, December will be a celebration of a different kind, but a celebration nevertheless.

PHOTO: Adriano Ribolzi holds a photograph of his father, Annibale. On the right is one of the sculptures in carrara marble by the Uruguayan sculptor Pablo Atchugarry currently exhibited at the Gallery, 3 ave de l’Hermitage Ian Brodie