Nouveau Musée National de Monaco – Villa Sauber

© The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (New National Museum of Monaco) is open to the public free of charge every Sunday - © NMNM / Villa Sauber

It is one of the last Belle Époque villas in Monaco. Although the exact date of its construction is unknown, it is believed to have been built in the early 1900s and belonged to the Blanc family, who were very influential in the development of the Société des Bains de Mer and the Casino de Monte-Carlo.

At that time, the area along the coast was called the Quartier des Bas-Moulins and the Larvotto beach did not yet exist. The newly acquired property goes down to the path that runs along the sea. Then in 1904 the painter Robert Sauber bought the villa from Edmond Blanc. In view of the similarities it bears to the Opera House built at the same time by Charles Garnier, it has often been tempting to attribute it to the famous Belle Époque architect.

At the beginning of the 1930s, the Sauber couple, then elderly, bequeathed the Villa to the London Police Court Relief Fund. The London Police Courts remained the owners of the Villa for about fifteen years and in 1952 Miss Nora Mac Caw took possession of it and in 1957 she sold it to the Société Immobilière de l’Avenue Princesse Grace. Finally, in 1969, the Société Immobilière Domaniale de Monaco bought the property from this company. From then on, the house and its garden remained the property of the Monégasque State. Today, it is a museum of contemporary art with two annual exhibitions.