Macron Unveils wrapped Arc de Triomphe in Paris

After three months of construction work Paris' famed Arc de Triomphe was on Thursday completely concealed. A day later Christo's last artwork was officially unveiled by French President Emmanuel Macron. Following the project's completion, the arch will remain transformed for just 16 days.

 The landmark, built during Napoleon's reign, has been outfitted in thousands square meters of silver-blue polypropylene fabric bound with red ropes. Encasing the Arc de Triomphe in cloth was a longstanding vision of artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, but was only realised  after their death.

The unveiling of the installation, officially titled "L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped," comes 60 years after Christo first became enthralled with the idea of wrapping the monument, more than a decade after Jeanne-Claude's death and over a year since Christo passed away last May. Originally scheduled for spring 2020, the project was first delayed out of concern for nesting kestrel falcons in the arch, and then because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Like many of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's other projects, "L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped" is poised to be a fleeting, sublime encounter with an environmental artwork that interrupts the experience of the everyday.

Vladimir Yavachev, Christo's nephew and the project's director of operations who worked with the artist for 30 years, explained that the shimmering colour of the fabric and vivid ropes are Christo's "poetic interpretation" of the blue, white and red of the French flag. "He liked colours that also change with the weather, or the time of day," Yavachev said cited by news agencies. "The fabric is very reminiscent of Paris rooftops... which are very silvery gray."/Europost

 

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