Anything for art?
Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and his wife Jeanne-Claude established a very successful and controversial artistic career, by wrapping giant objects in fabric and plastic. Some of their works include wrapping Berlin’s Reichstag, Paris’ Pont Neuf, Rome’s Aurelian Walls, and Bern’s Kunsthalle. The Arc de Triomph was supposed to be another major artwork in the wrapped collection but sadly Christo passed away in 2020 before he could finish the process.
After his death, Christo’s nephew and his team decided to make his long-lasting dream of wrapping the Arc de Triomph in fabric a reality. Since the fabric production had already begun before his death, the team continued the process and ensured it was as closely followed to his original drawings as possible.
The project, officially titled, ‘L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped’, costs a whooping total of €14 million ($16.5 million dollars) and involved over 1000 people who wrapped the famous landmark in 25,000 square meters of silvery-blue polypropylene fabric wrapped with 3,000m of red polypropylene rope. The money was raised privately by the estate of Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The artwork would be displayed till 3rd October after which all the material used in the production would be recycled.
Praising the efforts of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the French Minister of Culture had a few words to say, “Christo and Jeanne-Claude were audacious artists. Audacity was necessary to imagine and realize projects which they were often the only ones to believe in. For over 50 years, sometimes against all odds, they have illuminated the world with their distinctive vision. Nothing seemed impossible to these artists of the ephemera… Christo and Jeanne-Claude are no longer alive, and I wish to pay them tribute. It was in Paris, the city where they met, that their love and artistic relationship was born, and it is for Paris that they have conceived many artistic projects.”