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Christo to Wrap the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in Silver-Blue Fabric

The artist has revealed plans to cover the iconic Paris landmark six decades after the project was first conceived

Christo, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris) Place de l’Etoile – Charles de Gaulle, 2019, drawing. Courtesy: the artist; photograph: André Grossmann

Christo, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris) Place de l’Etoile – Charles de Gaulle, 2019, drawing. Courtesy: the artist; photograph: André Grossmann

Artist Christo has revealed plans to wrap the iconic Paris landmark, the Arc de Triomphe, next year. L’Arc de Triomphe Wrapped (Project for Paris, Place de l’Etoile-Charles de Gaulle) will be on show 6 to 19 April 2020, and will see the monument covered in a recyclable silver-blue polypropylene fabric and held together with red cord.

The project has secured permission from the French government and France’s Center for National Monuments. In a statement, the artist said: ‘35 years after Jeanne-Claude and I wrapped the Pont-Neuf [The Pont-Neuf Wrapped, Project for Paris, 1975-85], I am eager to work in Paris again to realise our project for the Arc de Triomphe.’ The work coincides with a show at the Pompidou Center focused on Christo’s early career in Paris, which opens 18 March.

Christo is known for his large-scale wrapping projects – including covering the entire Reichstag in Berlin in a silvery wrap in 1995 – produced in collaboration with his wife and artist Jeanne-Claude, who passed away in 2009. They began working together in 1961, after meeting in Paris. ‘Of course there is some irony and sadness that she is not here. But I am eager to go ahead with my life and do my work’, the artist told the New York Times. Christo and Jeanne-Claude first conceived the idea of wrapping the Arc de Triomphe in 1962.

Last year, the artist placed 7,506 oil drums in London’s Serpentine Lake, in the shape of a mastaba – a form dating back to ancient Mesopotamia – the red, white, blue and mauve barrels reflected in the water to create ‘an abstract painting’.

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