Architecture

$16.5-million art project wraps Paris' iconic Arc de Triomphe in fabric

$16.5-million art project wrap...
L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped is open from Saturday, September 18 to Sunday, October 3, 2021
L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped is open from Saturday, September 18 to Sunday, October 3, 2021
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L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped is open from Saturday, September 18 to Sunday, October 3, 2021
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L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped is open from Saturday, September 18 to Sunday, October 3, 2021
L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped cost a total of €14 million (roughly US$16.5 million), which was raised privately by the estate of Christo and Jeanne-Claude
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L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped cost a total of €14 million (roughly US$16.5 million), which was raised privately by the estate of Christo and Jeanne-Claude
L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped includes 3,000 m (9,849 ft) of rope, which will be recycled once the project ends
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L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped includes 3,000 m (9,849 ft) of rope, which will be recycled once the project ends
L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped involved over 1,000 people
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L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped involved over 1,000 people
L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped's 25,000 sq m (roughly 270,000 sq ft) of recyclable silvery blue polypropylene fabric was sewn in Germany
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L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped's 25,000 sq m (roughly 270,000 sq ft) of recyclable silvery blue polypropylene fabric was sewn in Germany
L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped has taken 50 years to realize, from Christo's original vision back in 1961
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L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped has taken 50 years to realize, from Christo's original vision back in 1961
View gallery - 6 images

When famous artist Christo died in 2020, many people assumed his work would come to an end too. However, his team, including his nephew, has come together to finally realize his decades-long wish to wrap Paris' iconic Arc de Triomphe in fabric.

Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude built a wildly successful (and controversial) career wrapping huge objects in fabric and plastic, including Berlin's Reichstag, but the Arc de Triomph was one major work that was planned but never completed. Sadly, Christo had actually started to take steps to wrap the famous triumphal arch shortly before his death – the fabric had even begun production – and his team has ensured that it closely followed his original drawings to stay true to his vision.

L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped involved over 1,000 people
L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped involved over 1,000 people

The scale of the project is impressive. L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped as it is officially named, cost a total of €14 million (roughly US$16.5 million), which was raised privately by the estate of Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Its creation involved over 1,000 people, who wrapped the famous landmark in 25,000 sq m (roughly 270,000 sq ft) of silvery blue polypropylene fabric sewn in Germany. It is secured into place with 3,000 m (9,850 ft) of red polypropylene rope. All of the materials will be recycled once the artwork comes to an end.

"Christo and Jeanne-Claude were audacious artists," says France's Minister of Culture. "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. With their monumental actions in public space, they have managed to make their way into the public's heart.

"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, from the Wall of Oil Barrels - The Iron Curtain on Rue Visconti in 1962, to L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped today."

L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped's 25,000 sq m (roughly 270,000 sq ft) of recyclable silvery blue polypropylene fabric was sewn in Germany
L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped's 25,000 sq m (roughly 270,000 sq ft) of recyclable silvery blue polypropylene fabric was sewn in Germany

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.

Source: Christo and Jeanne-Claude

View gallery - 6 images
11 comments
11 comments
jayedwin98020
This project, and others like it, appear to be a gigantic waste of time, resources and manpower,
and artistically, it completely leaves me cold. I'm also curious as to what the real motivation is
for this type of display.

And, has anyone figured out what the 'carbon footprint' for this project might be?
foxpup
It's a new record in the Guinnes Book of Records for the largest pair of trousers.
WB
What a waste when this babyboomer dinosaurs are so tone death to not realize the disastrous impact of their actions. Take USD 14M this collamity has cost. You can go to operation smiles - learn that it costs USD 200 to change the life of a kid from being a monster that is forced to stay in a hut (because of cleft pallette) to living a successful productive life. USD 200 - to change an entire life time. Rather than wrapping this, they could have profoundly and permanently changed the life of 70,000 kids! 70,000 kids. Instead they chose to temporarily wrap some building and in the process burden humanity with a lot more CO2, pollute the environment with their trash, because what I want to know is where does this insande amount of plastic wrap end up at once their little stunt is done? on some landfill? A true humen being would have taken those 14M Euros and permanently changed the life of 70,000 kids for the good!
Captain Obvious
Could you have found better uses for €14 million?

Hmmmm, yeah.
mmusheen
What an absolute waste of time and money. They couldn't find a better way to spend $16 million? And what about people that wanted to actually SEE the Arc while there, instead of a dang curtain?
Spud Murphy
Came to the comments to say how much of an appalling waste of resources this is, glad to see everyone else is thinking the same. Time for these sorts of stupid, wasteful "art" projects to die.
David
Given that it was privately funded, the only problem with wrapping one of Paris's most iconic monuments is its purpose. Ah, but of course modern art doesn't need a purpose or meaning. Unless it was to merely provided work an income for 1,000 people.
David V
Well I remember seeing the Pont Neuf wrapped all those years ago and it seemed magical. Especially on a sunny day.
However times have changed, mentalities - for some - have changed too. And now I do not see the point of this.
I know it didn't cost the city of Paris a penny and obviously many people were involved in the making. But this seems such a waste of money when so many are needy.
And public funding doesn't mean that they should have the right to do what they want. I feel such a wrong decision was made here by the Paris council to let this happen but then I guess they only see what they want to see.
Inga
I'm sure that really frustrated those that enjoy or traveled long distances to see the majesty of the real thing. They might as well have put it under a box with a label that read "Nothing to see here." What a massive mistake for France to allow the undermining of their culture and monuments.
Rocky Stefano
So many people have already said what I feel inside about this. Disgusting.
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