Art education in Monaco

Once young Monegasques have finished compulsory education, many choose to continue their studies at universities and colleges elsewhere in the world. At just over 8% of the population, the student age range of 15 to 24 years makes up the smallest number of residents in Monaco. Unfortunately, there aren't many opportunities for younger residents to continue their education close to home, but it's not completely impossible to obtain a university degree in the Principality.

One institution offering degree courses is the Pavillon Bosio, where students learn both the theory and practice of scenography and plastic arts. Originally established by Prince Pierre in the early 20th century, it started life as a municipal art school. Then, in 2004, the governments of Monaco and France signed an international agreement establishing the Pavillon Bosio as a college of higher education, and authorising it to award diplomas.

The awards are at 2 levels, both accredited by the French education system. At the first level is the National Diploma of Plastic Arts (DNAP), which takes 3 years to complete and is roughly equivalent to a Bachelors degree in the UK and America. A further 2 years of research, specialising in scenography, takes the student to the second, higher level: the National Higher Diploma of Plastic Expression (DNSEP), an award equivalent to a Masters degree.

Teaching and academic affairs at the school are supervised by the plastic arts bureau of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, whereas the college's administration is governed by the town hall (Mairie) of Monaco. If you want to apply to the school, you must be under 24 years old, and hold a Baccalaureat or equivalent qualification. Entrance to the college is by examination: candidates must write an essay, produce two examples of plastic art, and attend an interview with a jury composed of 3 professors. If your natural language isn't French, you have to pass a written test for that too.

If you're accepted, you can look forward to studying in one of the prettiest academic settings, on top of the Rocher, or Rock of Monaco, where the school has been housed since 1969. You can also expect to carry out work experience with one of the many highly regarded cultural organisations based in Monaco, such as the Ballets de Monte Carlo, the Spring Arts Festival, or the Imagina event and conference.

The namesake of the college has an equally high reputation in the world of art and sculpture. Francois-Joseph Bosio was born in Monaco, and worked for both Napoleon and the restored French monarchy in the 19th century. Many of his works form an integral part of the architecture of Paris. Among the most recognized are the four horse chariot on top of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in front of the Louvre, and the statue of Louis XIV in the Place des Victoires. More recently, replicas of Bosio's Salmacis nymph sculpture are handed out at the Monte Carlo Television Festival. The Golden Nymph Awards are the TV industry's way of rewarding the best in class.