That's a wrap: Plan calls for the Arc de Triomphe to be covered in fabric
One of Europe's most recognizable landmarks, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, is set to receive a dramatic temporary makeover. The entire monument will be wrapped in fabric following plans originally envisioned by the late artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
The Arc de Triomphe was originally designed in 1806 and inaugurated 30 years later to honor all those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. It long stood as the world's tallest triumphal arch before being overtaken by Mexico's Monumento a la Revolución. It reaches a height of 50 m (164 ft) and is 45 m (147 ft) in width.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude are of course famous for their controversial and provocative works (including the wrapping of Berlin's Reichstag in aluminum-lined polypropylene), and L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped is the bittersweet realization of a plan hatched in the 1960s to wrap the famous triumphal arch. Christo had actually begun working on making it a reality shortly before his death and it will now be completed by his team, which includes his nephew Vladimir Yevachev, following his original designs.
Wrapping it will obviously be a considerable undertaking and the project will involve a crew of experts and volunteers. It will consist of 25,000 sq m (roughly 270,000 sq ft) of polypropylene fabric, which will be secured into place with 3,000 m (9,000 ft) of red rope. The Eternal Flame, which is situated in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe, will continue to burn throughout the installation.
"Over thirty years after the Pont Neuf wrapping, the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe by Christo will be an event with a global resonance, which the Centre des Monuments Nationaux is delighted to make possible," says Philippe Bélaval, President of the Centre des monuments nationaux, the government institution that manages the Arc de Triomphe. "From everywhere, millions of eyes will be looking at this iconic monument of France and Paris' history. After two difficult years, heritage and creation will unite to offer the public an unforgettable moment of shared joy."
Like all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's art, the work is privately funded – in this case by Christo's estate selling off some of his artworks – and has a budget of €14 million (roughly US$17 million). Once it has run its course, it will be dismantled and recycled.
If you'd like to see L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped in person, you'll need to get yourself to Paris between September 18 - October 3, 2021.
Source: Christo and Jeanne-Claude