Arc de Triomphe to be wrapped in blue and red as Christo's parting gift

·1 min read

As a tribute to the late artist Christo, Paris is to bring to life his final project – wrapping the Arc de Triomphe in silvery blue fabric and red rope.

From 18 September and 3 October the famous arch will be dressed in 25,000 square metres of recyclable polypropylene fabric, bound by 3,000 metres of rope.

Work on the €14m installation will begin next month, shortly after France marks its Bastille Day national holiday.

Known for his massive, ephemeral public art displays, the Bulgarian-born Christo was working on the Paris project when he passed away in New York in May 2020, aged 84.

It was a dream 60 years in the making, with Christo and his French wife Jeanne-Claude – who have already wrapped Paris's Pont Neuf bridge – first conceiving the idea back in 1962.

The project was revived during a Christo exhibition in 2017. It was approved that same year by Paris city officials and the Centre des Monuments Nationaux (CMN), which oversees public monuments.

Planned for the spring of 2020, delays brought about by the health crisis had prevented it from being realised.

“Thirty-five years after Pont-Neuf, one of the most ambitious projects of Christo and Jeanne-Claude will see the day," said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

"The Arc de Triomphe will be wrapped according to Christo’s wishes to highlight this symbolic monument of our capital and our history."

Money for the project, which echoes similar Christo wrapping works such as that of Berlin's Reichstag, was raised through sales of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s personal archive of studies and prints.

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