As part of Monaco Ocean Week, the Monaco Scientific Centre (CSM) and fashion house Chanel have announced the signing of a new partnership agreement. The pair will work together to preserve the Mediterranean’s coral, currently being used in jewellery all over the world.

Mediterranean red coral has been used in jewellery since the days of Antiquity. Growing just 2 to 8mm per year, this species is an incredibly precious, natural treasure that must needs to be protected. As a result, the Monaco Scientific Centre and fashion house Chanel have decided to come together and create the Research Unit on the Biology of Precious Corals. Aware of the risks this coral is facing, this new research unit will work to develop fundamental research programmes to protect the species and better understand some of their key life processes. The project is also supported by the Princess Caroline of Hanover.

Worlds collide as jewellery and science collaborate

“This type of partnership allows us to once again look at problems that have never been solved,” explained  Françoise Gaill, emeritus research director at the CNRS, during an interview with news channel Monaco Info on Tuesday 23 March. “The results will allow us to retrace the origins of the coral…to explore current issues, which are the ocean, our societies, our cultures and all in the context of future generations and their relationship with sustainable development.”

Launched in 2019, this programme enables researchers to better understand key processes affecting the growth of this species, as well as study the colour of this precious coral. Last December, Chanel joined a campaign against plastic pollution in the Mediterranean, as part of the Business Club launched by the Beyond Plastic Med Foundation (BeMed).

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CHANEL – CSM – Pr Denis Allemand – Pr Françoise Gaill – M. Frédéric Grangié. © Communications Department – Michael Alesi