Beginning of the packaging of the Arc de Triomphe in homage to Christo

It’s difficult for Parisians, since this morning, not to see this grandiose construction site on the Arc de Triomphe. Several hundred square meters of recyclable blue silver polypropylene fabric began to be unrolled on Sunday on one side of the Arc de Triomphe. An operation which launches the final stretch of the packaging of the Parisian monument.

From September 18 to October 3, the childhood dream of Christo (died in May 2020) and his wife Jeanne-Claude, will be realized. The Arc de Triomphe, 50 m high, will be completely transformed into a gigantic gift package, held in place by 3,000 meters of red rope.

The packaging (25,000 m2 of fabric) will continue day and night to be ready on September 18, the day of the inauguration. “Today is one of the most spectacular moments in the installation. The wrapped Arc de Triomphe begins to come to life and comes even closer to the vision of what was Christo’s lifelong dream. and Jeanne-Claude “, confided Vladimir Yavachev, nephew of the artist who oversees the project.

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“On the morning of September 18, once we have finished arranging the ropes and making the final touches, the protective grids of the current site will be removed to allow the public to come, see and touch the boat free of charge. work of art “.

A project estimated at 14 million euros

The packaging of the Arc de Triomphe “will be like a living object which will come alive in the wind and reflect the light. The folds will move, the surface of the monument will become sensual”, explained Christo while presenting his final project, two years before his death. As early as 1962, Christo and Jeanne-Claude had signed a photomontage with the Arc de Triomphe packaged, an idea that came from looking at the monument from their first Parisian apartment, avenue Foch.

At a cost of 14 million euros, the project is entirely self-financed, without public subsidy, thanks to the sale of original works by Christo.

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The project does not appeal to everyone. Saturday in The world, the architect Carlo Ratti, one of Christo’s friends, called, in a forum, to abandon “the aesthetics of high-waste packaging “. “I suggest that we stop wrapping the Arc de Triomphe, both for environmental and intellectual reasons. On the environmental level, can we afford to waste 25,000 m2 of fabric wrapping a monument? ? The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, ” writes Carlo Ratti.

In 1985, in Paris, Christo had already packed the Pont-Neuf, spanning the Seine.

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