Cocteau and the Festival,
a love affair
Jean Cocteau fell head over heels for Menton on August 4th 1955 at a Music Festival concert. He wrote of the evening in his diary: “You couldn’t imagine anything stranger. You arrive on softly sloping stairs into a huge well of light, shadow, elaborate walls and sparse walls, Italian in style. The cathedral, its spire seen from below, its steep steps to other religious buildings and a giant archway bridging houses with pale green shutters home to working class families whose windows become theatre stalls.” That night, Cocteau met his future friend, Menton mayor Francis Palermo. He commissioned Cocteau to design the Menton Music Festival poster in 1956.