As a large, and very wealthy country, the United States, as expected, has significant cultural activity: Artfacts lists over 7,500 cultural institutions for the US. France too, makes a lasting impression: you can find almost 3,600 galleries, museums, non-profits, festivals or biennials listed there. Understanding what we know about these larger lands; how does Artfacts reflect some of the smallest countries in the world?
Measuring a grand total of 0,44 km2 in size, with around 1,000 inhabitants, the Vatican city, as an independent city-state, is classified as the smallest country in the world. The focus of the Vatican, as a sacerdotal-monarchical state ruled by the Pope, and as one of the “most sacred places in Christendom”, is – unsurprisingly – not on art.
This is reflected clearly in Artfacts, where there are no galleries, festivals or art fairs to find, except of course for the Vatican Museum with its outstanding collection. Interestingly, this museum was built partly to combat the threat to their “National heritage” from the seemingly unending purchasing power of the British Grand Tourists in the 18th century.
Did you know? Every last Sunday of the month admission is free!
A little bigger with only 2.1 km2, the Principality and Sovereign city-state of Monaco has almost 40,000 inhabitants. With a little less focus on transcendence and a little more on money, Monaco has a vivid art scene.
We list over 40 institutions, mainly galleries, museums such as the famous Grimaldi Forum and also the Arte Monte Carlo art fair, which has been active since 2016.
Comparatively larger, the Republic of San Marino has a territory of 61 km2 with 33,500 inhabitants and is the world’s oldest Republic. Also known as “La Serenissima” or “Most Serene”, San Marino has little to offer in terms of contemporary art.
There are castles, palazzi (palaces) and even a Ferrari museum, but for Artfacts purposes, we are only able to offer 4 institution listings. If you’re searching for more recent art it’s perhaps best to hop in the car for the San Marini drive to Florence, where you’ll find 69 Artfacts institutions or to Bologna, where there are 80 institutions listed. Keep San Marino for picturesque views, and fascinating history.
Yet another microstate is the Principality of Liechtenstein, at 160 km2 large it is 76 times the size of Monaco, but with almost the same number of inhabitants at around 39.000.
Artfacts reveals 21 institutions, including the high level Kunstmuseum with the Hilti Foundation, the advanced Kunstraum Engländerbau and the Visarte, which has run a triennial since 2015.
Last but not least, we take a look at the beautiful island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. With 316 km2 it is the largest of our smallest lands listed here, with a population of nearly half a million people.
Artfacts offers you 14 institutions to visit and whilst a lot of these are in the capital city of Valletta, not all of them are. It is also worthwhile visiting the “Heart of Gozo”, a museum on the sister island of Gozo which was opened in 2013 and has hosted a number of landmark exhibitions.
Whether you plan to visit one of the largest, or, one of the smallest countries in the world, make sure to plan your visit by taking a look at Artfacts first.
Let’s make history happen.
The Artfacts Team