This weekend L’Arc de Triomphe in Paris was wrapped completely in shimmering, recyclable plastic wrapping for a posthumous installation by Christo.

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© 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

L’Arc de Triomphe is 50 meters tall, so the wrapping racks up an impressive 25,000 square meters and will be glitzing up the top of the Champs-Élysées from September 18th - October 3rd. 

The artist, Christo, previously similarly wrapped the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris in 1985, in “41,800 square meters (450,000 square feet) of woven polyamide fabric, silky in appearance and golden sandstone in color.”

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© 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

The fabric extended all the way down to the ground, and to the curbs and pavements (sidewalks if you’re that way inclined) - pedestrians walked on top of the fabric. Not sure how that would fly in this Covid-19 riddled world.

Unfortunately, Christo (full name Christo Vladimirov Javacheff) passed away in 2020 following the death of his wife and fellow artist Jeanne-Claude, who passed in 2009. L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped has been produced by Christo’s nephew Vladimir Yavachev, 60 years after Christo conceptualised the idea in 1961.

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© 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

 

"The biggest challenge for me is that Christo is not here. I miss his enthusiasm, his criticisms, his energy and all of these things. That, for me, really is the biggest challenge," Yavachev told Reuters.

The exhibition cost 14 million euro, and is funded by Christo’s art sales - it will not receive any public or private funding.

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© 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

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© 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

Members of the public will still be able to visit the panoramic terrace at the top of the building, and Sotheby’s Paris will showcase 25 pieces for ‘The Final Christo’ exhibition during the duration of L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped.

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© 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

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© 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

In 2019, Christo said; “35 years after Jeanne-Claude and I wrapped the Pont-Neuf, I am eager to work in Paris again to realize our project for the Arc de Triomphe.”

Even the inside is wrapped, and poetically shimmering in the Parisian breeze. How poetic. 

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