First Grimaldi to Reign Over Monaco
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A statue of the first Grimaldi to reign over Monaco, François Grimaldi (Francesco Grimaldi) known as "il Malizia", is located in the Place Du Palais next to the Ramp in Monoco-Ville, Monaco.
A life-sized bronze statue of François Grimaldi "il Malizia" is depicted disguised as a Franciscan monk. He is standing on a circular stone base wearing hooded robe with a belt of rope hanging from his left side. His right arm crossed his chest to hold his sword hidden under his robe.
The statue created by Kees Verkade and was erected in 1997 to celebrate the 700th anniversary his capture of the Rock of Monaco on the night of January 8, 1297. The circular base is inscribed:
1297 - 1997
"He was the first of the Grimaldis to reign over Monaco."
François Grimaldi known as il Malizia (the Cunning One), was a Genovese nobleman, the son of Guelf Guglielmo Grimaldi. He became the leader of the Guelphs who captured the Rock of Monaco on the night of 8 January 1297. Dressed as a Franciscan monk, François was greeted at the gates of Monaco's castle He, along with his cousin Rainier I and a small group of men, seized the castle. As the first Grimaldi to rule over Monaco, he was the founder of the Grimaldi dynasty that still rules the principality of Monaco. François (Francesco) Grimaldi died in 1309.