The Sovereign travelled to Roquebrune-Cap-Martin last Thursday for the opening of the exhibition entitled “Les Journées de l’Art-Bre” (Art-Bre days). The eleventh edition pays tribute to Joséphine Baker.
Along with the artist’s children and grandchildren, and the mayor of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin Patrick Cesari, Prince Albert II walked down the aisle of celebrities to unveil a bust of Josephine Baker in the heart of the town’s Parc des Oliviers.
The singer, dancer, actress and resistance fighter became the first black woman to be entombed in the Panthéon in Paris, in November 2021. However, her family decided that her body should remain in Monaco’s cemetery, near her last husband and one of her twelve adopted children.
Josephine Baker had a special bond with Princess Grace. It was Prince Rainier III’s wife who enabled her to stay in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin when she faced financial ruin in the mid-1960s, and with no place to live for herself and her “rainbow tribe”.
A portrait finished by the Prince
The Sovereign then donned an apron to complete another work of art in the park. Can of paint in hand, he completed the portrait of the Roaring Twenties icon, created by Nice-based street artist César Malfi. The inauguration took place to music, in a 1930s atmosphere reminiscent of her first Parisian performances.
To the delight of the large number of spectators, the evening ended with the show “Joséphine Baker, Paris mon amour”, featuring the artist’s repertoire.
The exhibition can be seen until 30 September in the Parc des Oliviers.