The Scientific Centre of Monaco (CSM) and fashion powerhouse Chanel have signed a partnership agreement to develop research programs for Mediterranean red coral and help protect the species which has for centuries been used to make fine jewellery.
The partnership was announced on Wednesday as part of Monaco Ocean Week and sees the creation of a dedicated Research Unit on the Biology of Precious Corals at the CSM. It is responsible for researching the growth mechanisms and colour of Mediterranean red coral and for studying innovative solutions for its conservation.
For centuries, Mediterranean red coral has been harvested for decorative use. Coral jewellery has been found at ancient Egyptian sites and prehistoric European burials.
Today, there is still great demand for the intensely coloured red or pink-orange coral for jewellery.
“Red coral is today a Mediterranean natural treasure that must be protected,” said the CSM. “This scientific partnership between the CSM and Chanel is therefore part of this approach.”
Research findings gathered throughout the six-year programme will be published and available to all stakeholders.
Photo of Prof. Denis Allemand, Prof. Françoise Gaill, and Frédéric Grangie by Michael Alesi / Government Communication Department