Arc de Triomphe to be wrapped in fabric as planned by Christo

The major Paris landmark of the Arc de Triomphe will be entirely wrapped in fabric this summer, in a 14-million-euro project that the late artist Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude first envisaged 59 years ago.

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The Arc de Triomphe in Paris will be swathed in silvery blue fabric and red rope as a posthumous project planned by the artist Christo since the early 1960s finally becomes reality, reports The Guardian.

Work will begin next month on 'L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped', a 14-million-euro installation at one of the world’s most recognised monuments. The arch will be swathed in 25,000 sq metres of recyclable polypropylene fabric, fixed with 3,000 metres of red rope, also recyclable.

The project is the realisation of a dream spanning almost 60 years for Christo and his French wife, Jeanne-Claude, who first drew up plans to wrap the Arc de Triomphe in 1962 while renting a small room near the monument.

“A photo montage of how it would look was done but they never proposed actually doing it because they thought they would never get the necessary permission,” Christo’s nephew Vladimir Javacheff told The Guardian last week.

“We can do this project without him today because they [Christo and Jeanne-Claude] already drew up every visual and artistic aspect of it. This project is 100% Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s project. It was his wish that this should happen even after he was gone. We are just realising his vision.”

The idea was revived in 2017 to coincide with a Christo exhibition and has been approved by the Paris city authorities and the Centre des monuments nationaux, which oversees public monuments. Jeanne-Claude died in 2009 and Christo died in May last year.

Construction teams will work for 12 weeks to begin building the installation after France’s traditional Bastille Day  July 14th commemorations on the Champs Elysées, which starts at the Arc de Triomphe, to complete it before 18 September. Like most of Christo’s work, it will be temporary. On October 3rd, work will begin to remove the wrapping in time for the November Armistice Day ceremonies.

See more of this report, with video, from The Guardian.

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