The packaging of the Arc de Triomphe, a posthumous work of Christo, begins

A new mega artistic project is brewing in Paris. This is the packaging of the Arc de Triomphe devised by the late artist Christo. The death of the Bulgarian creator delayed until this year the execution of the work in which 25,000 m2 of silver fabric will be used.

Lining the Arc de Triomphe entirely and turning it into a huge gift package is Christo’s latest project, now a reality. The sensational operation will require 25,000 m2 of recyclable metallic fabric, deployed on Sunday, October 12 from the top of the monument and with the help of 95 technicians tied to ropes.

Christo’s installation required several weeks of preparation on the imposing Parisian monument, which measures 50 meters high by 45 wide, and will last day and night until Friday, for its inauguration to the public on September 18.

The packaging of the Arc de Triomphe had been a pipe dream for Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude, since 1962. The work was due to be done last year, but the death in May 2020 of the artist truncated the initial plan. However, his foundation and the Paris authorities maintained the project, one of the most important ever carried out by the Bulgarian-born artist.

The monument’s disappearance under a silver cape has sparked lively debate, sparking both surprise and perplexity. Its cost could also leave you speechless: 14 million euros completely self-financed through the sale of original works by Christo.

Ephemeral colossal wrappers were Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s trademark for more than three decades.

In 1985, Christo draped cloth around the Pont-Neuf, one of the bridges over the Seine in Paris. Ten years later they repeated the feat, engulfing the Reichstag in Berlin, the seat of the German Parliament.

They also wowed audiences with The Floating Piers, an installation of orange floating walkways made in Italy in 2016. And in 2018, Christo created a floating mastaba (Egyptian funerary building) in London’s Hyde Park.

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