PARIS (Reuters) – Visitors to Paris may be surprised as they stroll down the Champs-Élysées in September, when the Arc de Triomphe will be wrapped in shimmering wrapping, a posthumous installation by artist Christo.
Workers have already begun erecting some of the scaffolding around the 50-metre-tall 19th-century monument to prepare it for the silver-blue recyclable plastic wrap, which will be installed between September 18th and October 3rd.
Conceived in 1961 by the late Bulgarian artist Christo, his wife and fellow artist Jeanne-Claude, who died in 2009, “The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped” finally came to life at the hands of Christo’s nephew, Vladimir Yavatchev.
“It’s just a matter of keeping a promise to him. Simple as that,” Yavatchev told Reuters, adding that a few years before his death in 2020, Christo, who spent part of his life in Paris and New York, said that what he most wanted to do was finish this project.
Christo even rented a small room near the famous avenue Champs-Élysées after moving to Paris in 1958, where he experimented with discarded wrapping crates and barrels of cloth and rope, according to an official website dedicated to him.
The project will also allow tourists to visit the Arc de Triomphe and its panoramic terrace. The monument also houses a tribute to the Unknown Soldier in the form of a flame of remembrance that is rekindled every day.
(By Lea Guedj)
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