Monaco Art Week, which opened on Wednesday, July 14, and runs through Sunday, July 18, is an outstanding opportunity to discover the very wide range of art being displayed in 14 art galleries in the Principality.

Monaco’s galleries and auction houses are welcoming visitors throughout this week, with much, but not all the art available to purchase.

Artcurial, the largest auction house in France with its own base in Monaco, has partnered with Société des Bains de mer to showcase monumental sculptures in the parks and gardens of landmark properties, including the Hermitage and the Monet-Carlo Beach Club. This in itself is a marvellous showcase for important works that would otherwise not be seen.

Martin Guesnet, a senior associate director at Artcurial, said that only in Monaco would it be possible to display such valuable pieces in such a secure environment.

Contemporary art predominates, and just how much talent or value some of this work represents is open to lively debate.

However, there can be no doubt that some of the art has an important place in the development not only of contemporary art but also of modern thought. Such is the work of Louise Bourgeois, much of whose most important work is on display at the Hauser & Wirth Gallery.

For me the highlight of the tour was Madonna and Child by the 15th century artist Sano di Pietro, at the Moretti Fine Art Gallery.

What is most significant about Monaco Art Week is the way in which 14 galleries and auction houses have cooperated and enabled such easy access to a wide range of work, much of it of great significance.

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PHOTO: An iconic Louise Bourgeois work, in a dramatic underground setting at the Hauser & Wirth Gallery