Paris’ Arc de Triomphe has been wrapped in silver-blue fabric as part of new art installation

Workers begin the process of wrapping up the Arc De Triomphe monument in silver-blue fabric on September 12, 2021, in Paris, France.
  • The Arc de Triomphe has been wrapped in silver fabric for an installation opening on September 18.
  • The idea was originally designed by two late artists, Christo and his partner Jeanne-Claude.
  • The around R234 million installation was directed by Christo’s nephew, Vladimir Yavatchev.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The Arc de Triomphe has been covered in a silver-blue fabric as part of an art installation in Paris that will open to the public between Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, October 3.

Originally conceived by the late artist Christo and his partner Jeanne-Claude, according to the artist’s website, “Wrapped” was due to open in 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic.

According to a press release sent to Insider, Christo and Jeanne-Claude conceptualized and sketched the wrapped Arc de Triomphe as early as 1961. After Jeanne-Claude’s death in 2009, Christo decided to make the dream a reality in 2019.

Workers begin the process of wrapping up the Arc De Triomphe monument in silver-blue fabric on September 12, 2021, in Paris, France.

Art News reported in April 2019 that Christo issued a statement that expressed interest in the project. “Thirty-five years after Jeanne-Claude and I wrapped the Pont-Neuf, I am eager to work in Paris again to realise our project for the Arc de Triomphe,” he said.

The artist died shortly after in 2020, and the project became funded by the Estate of Christo V. Javacheff through the sale of Christo’s original artworks. The press release notes that these include preparatory studies and collages, models, works from the 1950s and 1960s, and lithographs.

The release also said that the project was directed by Vladimir Yavachev, Christo’s nephew, and work began on the project on July 15, 2021, which took 12 weeks to complete. To complement the installation, a free photographic exhibition will be on view on the banks of the Seine, displaying over 20 of the most iconic projects realised by the artist couple.

Workers applying silver-blue fabric to the Arc De Triomphe for the “Wrapped” installation on September 12, 2021, in Paris, France.

Speaking of his late uncle and aunt in the press release, Yavachev said: “Christo and Jeanne-Claude lived to realise their projects, and The Ville de Paris exhibition reflects the spirit of their public works of art across the world.”

Yavatchev also told Reuters: “The biggest challenge for me is that Christo is not here. I miss his enthusiasm, his criticisms, his energy, and all of these things. That, for me, really is the biggest challenge.”

Christo is the artist responsible for a number of similar installations across the globe. According to Travel and Leisure, his fabric works have graced New York City’s Central Park, the Australian coast, and Berlin’s Reichstag parliament building.

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