The main competent body for implementing the 2003 Convention is the Department for Cultural Affairs (DCA) under the aegis of the Ministry of Interior of the Principality, which is competent for the conservation and promotion of cultural heritage over the entire territory of Monaco. A draft Law on Protection of Cultural Heritage that includes intangible cultural heritage (ICH) is currently under study and this law, along with its implementing regulations, will also specify the responsibilities of the DCA for safeguarding living heritage, alongside a Commission whose role still remains to be defined.
Currently, there are no institutions for training ICH management and the small size of the territory rules out the possibility of offering either relevant university-level education or professional training courses. A training workshop on inventorying for practitioners and representatives of cultural institutions was held in 2006 on the initiative of the National Commission for UNESCO and the Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, with the aim of sensitizing members of cultural associations about the Convention and the importance of establishing a national inventory. In 2014, capacity building efforts continued through a workshop, introducing to heads of institutions and associations active in the domain of ICH the most salient aspects of UNESCO’s capacity-building strategy. In order to continue with this work, the DCA and the Permanent Delegation to UNESCO have been tasked with organising in 2015 awareness-raising and training workshops focusing on inventorying ICH for members of religious and civil groups, as well as institutional actors concerned either directly or through conserving related archival materials.
All documentation relating to ICH in the principality must be placed in the Monaco Médiathèque (multimedia library), the legally authorised depository body of the Town Hall which manages and preserves records for safeguarding heritage. It comprises a comprehensive heritage collection of ancient and rare books, as well as photographs, maps, plans and regional documentary resources. Its regional collection accepts donations from individuals, such as family records of daily life and photographs that make up the collective memory of the population of Monaco. The archives of the Prince’s Palace, established in 1882, brings together documents from different Princes’ residences and families connected to the House of Grimaldi. The Association of Audiovisual Archives was established in 1997 to collect, preserve and archive the audiovisual memory of Monaco (images, films and related documentation) and to support audiovisual productions based on the use of archives for public awareness-raising. It contains over 1500 documents, which are indexed into a multimedia database. It also archives recordings made by local TV. The documents are freely accessible.
Following the training workshop conducted by UNESCO experts in 2006, a plan of action was drawn up by the DCA with the objective of establishing an inventory using inventory forms for the identification of ICH elements. Although several stakeholders had initially been involved in completing and submitting these forms, the plan has not been followed up since 2008 due to a lack of human resources for the collection and treatment of data. The follow-up work, which will include monitoring, centralising and online publishing of the inventory, was resumed in 2014 under the responsibility of the DCA. The first initial results of the inventorying process for ICH will soon be available.
Safeguarding measures taken by the government mainly rely on subsidized interventions from associations working for ICH safeguarding, in particular, for maintaining Monegasque traditions and identity. Such associations revive certain traditions with full participation of communities, organise traditional religious and secular festivals and ceremonies, maintain a museum of Monaco’s traditions, create online websites, publish in the Monegasque language and on its ICH, and record DVDs and song collections. There is no specific action for making ICH more accessible since, for example, the main traditional religious festivals and ceremonies already open to the public are covered by the main media and mostly figure on the official calendar of the principality. Communities and the general public are generally familiar with the history, evolution and organisation of these traditions and they participate on the basis of freely available information. Communities themselves benefit from the respect given to their knowledge and practices by the public, institutions and government.
Educational programmes for young people are integrated into formal school curricula. Since 1976, the Monegasque language has been taught as a required subject from primary to secondary school and some dedicated teaching materials have been developed and adapted for different school levels in recent years. These include, for example, a new reference manual for teaching Monaco’s history and courses in Monegasque language.
Non-formal means of transmission of knowledge and know-how essentially occurs within the family and through elders who have a central place in the community, even if new forms of organisation and communication, such as use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs), have been assumed by the younger generation. Elders are respected in their communities and by the government and public at large as tradition bearers and practitioners. The role of the family is also significant since participation in certain religious festivals and ceremonies is a family heritage and young people very quickly become associated with traditions continued by the family circle.
In terms of bilateral, sub-regional, regional and international cooperation, Monaco is officially twinned with the Corsican town of Lucciana, the supposed birthplace of its patron saint. Representatives of both communities are often present in each other’s celebrations and also have exchanges over other areas, such as gastronomic and musical heritage. Some cultural or religious associations and groups maintain links with other bodies at European and international levels. For instance, the Academy of Dialect Languages has organised and participated in international seminars and conferences and its members include eminent researchers and academics from other European countries.
Monaco has no elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity or on the List of Intangible Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.