The Principality of Monaco is a small enclave in south-eastern France (population 31,719 in 1997, land area 1.8 km2), surrounded by the Mediterranean sea and the French territory. The official language is French, but Monégasque (a mixture of French and Italian), Italian and English are also spoken.




2.1 Public and semi-public bodies

The governmental body in charge of the administration of cultural policy is the Direction des Affaires Culturelles de la Principauté, operating under the authority of the Governmental Advisor for Internal Affairs (Conseiller de Gouvernement pour l'Intérieur), who is in charge of the implementation of the country's cultural policy. The main directions of Monaco's cultural policy are defined by the Prince's Government.

The basic responsibilities of this body, stated in the Sovereignty Act (l'Ordonnance Souveraine) no. 3505 of March 1966, are the following:

  • to control and coordinate, and if needed encourage, the activities of cultural associations,
  • to administer some of the cultural foundations, depending on their importance and international character, which is relevant to governmental action,
  • to propose or, if necessary, undertake all the appropriate measures to stimulate intellectual and artistic life in the Principality.

In the cultural domain, associations play a major role in Monaco, contributing to the involvement of the people in creative activities and in the shaping of their cultural life.

2.2 Facilities and institutions

Monaco's main cultural institutions include the Archives of the Principality Palace, scientific museums, and historical museums. Among the most important artistic and cultural institutions are the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Ballets de Monte-Carlo, and the Théâtre Princesse Grace. Monaco also plays host to several festivals, including the Festival International de Télévision de Monte-Carlo, the music festival Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo, a circus festival, and the Festival Mondial de Théâtre Amateur.

The Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco awards annual prizes for literature, music and contemporary art. Several cultural and scientific institutes are based in Monaco.

Education in artistic subjects is provided by the Académie de Musique, Ecole Municipale d'Arts Décoratifs, and the Académie de Danse Classique Princesse Grace.


3.1 Financing of cultural activities

In total, the cultural budget amounts to 5 per cent of the national budget, and is spent on the financing of the state cultural institutions and on the organization of cultural events. The state also indirectly supports municipal cultural activities by providing the city with a corresponding subsidy. Several cultural institutions and higher education facilities are financed from the budget of the Town Hall (Mairie), accounting for 13.7 per cent of the total budget. Private foundations also participate in the financing of cultural institutions. The Société des Bains de Mer is the most important private organisation active in arts sponsorship. It contributes financially and through technical or human resources to the events staged by the Théâtre historique, and also contributes towards its operating cost. It finances the entire opera season and the opera choir. The conditions of this foundation's participation in cultural funding are regulated in a convention (European cultural convention).

Support for artistic creation comes also in the form of direct welfare payments, notably the guaranteed minimum income which is assured for all the residents of Monaco.

3.2 Legislation

There is no legislature pertaining directly to the achievement of cultural objectives.

The rights of authors are protected.


Among the cultural sectors or fields to receive the highest degree of attention, mention ought to be made of the protection and proper presentation of cultural heritage, education and cultural activities, cultural and artistic training, support for creative efforts, cultural animation, and diffusion.

4.1 Cultural heritage

Concerning Monaco's material cultural heritage, most activities centre around architectural heritage and its maintenance, and around anthropological and oceanographic research. In the future, artistic heritage will be collected and exhibited in the Museum of Fine Arts, which will exhibit the State collections on a permanent basis and also host exhibitions of important contemporary art.

The main aim in the domain of non-material cultural heritage is the protection of the Monégasques language and traditions. The Académie des Langues Dialectales was created to study and teach the dialect languages, and the Committee on the Monégasques Traditions has opened a museum and is developing various animation activities.

4.2 Cultural education and training

Music sensitization and appreciation has been an important element of school education in Monaco for more than 20 years. Similar efforts have recently started in the field of plastic arts.

Training and higher degrees in arts are obtainable in France.

4.3 Performing arts


4.4 Visual and fine arts


4.5 Literature and literary production


4.6 Music



5.1 Book publishing


5.2 Press


5.3 Broadcasting and sound recording industry

Radio Monte-Carlo (Société Radio Monte-Carlo) is administered for the most part by a French company. TV Monte-Carlo (Société Télé Monte-Carlo) has undergone a complete reorganization. Cultural programmes are not very well represented in either of these stations.

5.4 Cinema and film industry





The responsibility for international cultural affairs lies with the Foreign Ministry and falls directly within the Prime Minister's sphere of responsibility.

Monaco is a member of UNESCO and is active in a number of international organizations where it has set up national committees.1


8.1 Ministries, authorities and academies

Commission nationale pour l'UNESCO
8 rue Louis Notari
98000 Monaco

Ministère d'Etat
Direction des Affaires culturelles
8 rue Louis Notari
MC-98000 Monaco
Tel: 93 25 8302, fax: 93 50 6694

Direction des Relations Extérieures
Ministère d'Etat
98000 Monaco
Tel.: 93 15 8724, fax: 93 15 8217

8.2 Central cultural institutions

Musée National
17 ave. Princess Grace
98000 Monaco
Tel: 93-30-91-26

Comité National de la Musique
c/o Direction des Affaires Culturelles

Institut Internaional du Théâtre
c/o Direction des Affaires Culturelles

Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco
c/o Direction des Affaires Culturelles

8.3 Associations



Cultural Policy and Cultural Administration in Europe: 42 outlines. Vienna, Österreichische Kulturdokumentation, Internationales Archiv für Kulturanalysen, 1996, p. 123.

Handbook of Cultural Affairs in Europe. Baden-Baden, Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 1995, p. 622.

Ministère d'Etat. Questionnaire sur l'état et les tendances des politiques culturelles dans les Etats Membres. Monaco, Commission Nationale pour l'UNESCO, Monaco, 1989.

The World Alamanac and Book of Facts 1997, Mahwah, New Jersey, World Alamanac Books, 1997.


* The author of this text, approved by the Commission nationale pour l'UNESCO, is Tomislav Car. The study has been revised by Daniela Angelina Jelincic in 1997.

1 Including the following: Organisation Mondiale de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OMPI), Union Internationale des Télecommunications (UIT), Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique (ACCT), Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), Conférence Européenne des Administrations des Postes et Télécommunications (CEPT), Association Internationale des Arts Plastiques, Commission Européenne du Tourisme, Conseil International de la Musique, Conseil International des Unions Scientifiques, Institut International du Théâtre, Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature, Union Latine.