Bulgarian-American artist Christo is set to transform one of Paris’ most iconic landmarks in an art project more than 50 years in the making.
Christo will wrap the Arc de Triomphe in shimmering silver and blue cloth for two weeks in April 2020.
Entitled L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, the temporary exhibition will require 25,000 square metres of recyclable polypropylene fabric and 7,000 metres of red rope. It will coincide with a major exhibition at the capital’s Centre Georges Pompidou, dedicated to Christo and his artistic partner and wife, Jeanne-Claude.
The couple lived in Paris from 1958 to 1964, where they first developed their plans to create works of art in public spaces. The idea of wrapping structures appealed as a way of exploring the material presence of buildings — transforming something once solid and permanent into something transient and light.
In 1962, Christo began studying the Arc de Triomphe for a potential installation, creating sketches and photomontages of a possible project all the way the 1970s and 1980s. Instead, the pair were forced to content themselves with enveloping Paris’ Pont Neuf in fabric in 1985.
“35 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,” says Christo.