In 1958, Christo went to Paris, where he met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, not only his wife but life partner in the creation of monumental environmental works of art. In 1961 the two began creating works of art in public spaces. One of their projects was to wrap an entire public building. When he arrived in Paris, Christo rented a small room near the Arc de Triomphe and had been attracted by the monument ever since. In 1962, he made a photomontage of the Arc de Triomphe wrapped, seen from the Avenue Foch and, in 1988, a collage. 60 years later, Christo’s dream of wrapping the arc de triomphe has finally come to life.
L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, is now temporary artwork for Paris and will be on view for 16 days from Saturday, September 18 to Sunday, October 3, 2021. The project will be realized in partnership with the Centre des Monuments Nationaux and in coordination with the City of Paris. It also receives the support of the Centre Pompidou. The Arc de Triomphe will be wrapped in 25,000 square meters of recyclable polypropylene fabric in silvery blue, and with 3,000 meters of red rope.
The project was not as simple as simply closing a large set of drapes. Before the massive curtains could be installed, a small army of climbers and other workers installed scaffolding and brackets around the top of the Arc de Triomphe and parts of its pillars, to protect sculptures and decorative carvings. The brackets also help the material hang uniformly.
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