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Top 3 most unusual sculptures in Monaco

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Jérôme Vinette

We present another instalment in our series on Monaco’s sculptures.

Among the many works of art on display in the Principality, certain statues capture our attention because of their originality.  After our previous article on the most recent ones, here are three of the most unusual sculptures in Monaco.

“The Cloak of Conscience”, by Anna Chromý

“The Cloak of Conscience”, by Anna Chromý – © Jérôme Vinette

We begin with one of the most famous: the “Cloak of Conscience”. This statue, situated on the Rocher, is impressive, although slightly disturbing. On the path leading to the Oceanographic Museum, passers-by will come across a large seated character, hidden under a long white cloak. The figure is ghostly, but in fact represents a faceless virgin and is made out of white marble.

This recent sculpture (2014) was a gift from the German International Club of Monaco to Prince Albert II. It was created by the Czech artist, Anna Chromý, who passed away last September. The aim of the “Cloak of Conscience” is to inspire us to reflect upon ourselves and our actions.

The artist drew her inspiration from Albert Einstein. “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science,” she quoted in a speech at the inauguration.

Through the Cloak, Anna Chromý stated on her website that “seeking beauty” is something that “is not always obvious in art today (…) Beauty to me is the physical image of harmony, harmony between man, nature and all creation.”

SEE ALSO: Anna Chromý, the artist and eternal perfectionist with a big heart

The “Motophant”, half-motorbike, half-elephant

The “Motophant”, by Armand Fernandez – © Jérôme Vinette

While art is a way of expressing one’s imagination, it is also an excellent way of voicing one’s opinion. This is the case for Armand Fernandez, or Arman for short, a Franco-American artist born in Nice in 1928, and creator of the “Motophant”. The sculpture depicts an elephant with a motorcycle body, its back covered with scrap metal, and its legs attached to wheels. Made in 1988, it is located in Fontvieille park.

Through the piece, Arman is said to have wanted to denounce human actions and their consequences for the planet. Here, the artist portrays the impact of modern technology (the motorcycle) on nature (the elephant), which is subsequently threatened. This would explain the rusty motorcycle scrap on the endangered elephant.

SEE ALSO: Top 3 recent sculptures in Monaco

« The Sitting Couple »

« The Sitting Couple » by Lynn Russel Chadwick – © Jérôme Vinette

Also near Fontvieille Park, you will probably come across a rather strange sculpture called “The Sitting Couple”, by Lynn Russell Chadwick. As its name suggests, it represents a couple sitting on a bench. The most curious thing about the sculpture is the strange shape of the figures’ bodies.

The man and woman are seated, facing the road where the cars go by. Their positions suggest a thoughtful couple.

This is not the only sculpture of its kind: Lynn Russell Chadwick is known for her “couples”, who now “sit” all around the world.