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’.