8 September 2023

Xavier Prache succeeds Gilles Bessero

Xavier Prache succeeds Gilles Bessero as head of Monaco Explorations Society

A new page is being turned at Monaco Explorations Society with the retirement of Gilles Bessero, who was first appointed director of the company in December 2018 and then director in February 2019. Xavier Prache, Commissaire des armées and previously head of the support group at the Toulon defense base, succeeded him as director on Friday, September 1, 2023. A private ceremony, in the presence of H.E. Mr. Pierre Dartout, Minister of State and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Monaco Explorations, was held on Monday, September 4, at the Monaco Oceanographic Museum.

Monaco Oceanographic Museum conference room, September 4, 2023. From left to right: Robert Calcagno, Managing Director of Explorations de Monaco and Director General of the Oceanographic Institute, Gilles Bessero, former Director of Explorations de Monaco, H.E. Mr. Pierre Dartout, Minister of State of the Principality of Monaco and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Explorations de Monaco, Xavier Prache, new Director of Explorations de Monaco©Michel Dagnino_Institut océanographique.

Gilles Bessero's assessment

“I was seduced by the singularity of Monaco Explorations ambition, which is to closely associate science, outreach and political action in order to understand the phenomena that govern the evolution of the Ocean, share knowledge with as many people as possible and mobilize decision-makers so that the Ocean remains a healthy common good for Humanity in the long term. As head of the Indian Ocean expedition, my main satisfaction is to have brought everyone safely back to port, but also to have successfully completed almost the entire program, with the full cooperation of all those involved! This is the end of an extraordinary adventure!”

Gilles Bessero à bord du S.A. Agulhas II lors de la mission en océan Indien 2022©Nicolas Mathys. Zeppelin/MonacoExplorations
Gilles Bessero aboard the S.A. Agulhas II during the Monaco Explorations mission to the Indian Ocean in October and November 2022©Nicolas Mathys. Agence Zeppelin/ Monaco Explorations
Xavier Prache
Xavier Prache, new director of Explorations de Monaco

Xavier Prache looks to the future

“The future of the Ocean is a subject that concerns us all, and is inextricably linked to that of humanity. We need to understand this environment, manage it sustainably and, of course, protect it. By combining scientific research, public outreach and governmental cooperation, Monaco Explorations is fully in line with the legacy of Prince Albert I: “to make the Ocean known, loved and protected”. It is with realistic optimism that I take up my post, happy at the idea of contributing to the action of the Sovereign and the Principality for the sustainable preservation of the Ocean, and of preparing and leading the program of activities with our partners from all over the world.”

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