After the Reichstag or the Pont-Neuf, place at the Arc de Triomphe.
Inaugurated this week by Emmanuel Macron, the impressive packaging of one of the most emblematic monuments of Paris, a posthumous work of the artist Christo, who died in 2020, has been accessible to the public since this Saturday.
“We have a thought for Christo and Jeanne-Claude. They would have been extremely moved (…) because it is the culmination of a 60-year-old dream”, declared the Head of State in a speech on the roof of the monument in the presence in particular of the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and the former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg.
“It was a crazy dream and you made it happen, Vladimir (Yavachev, nephew of the artist, editor’s note), thank you so much”, added the Head of State, arrived on the scene shortly after 5:00 p.m. with his wife Brigitte.
The fruit of several weeks of work, the packaging of this high place of French commemorations required 25,000 m² of bluish silver recycled fabric, held together by 3,000 meters of red rope. It will last until October 3.
Work supported by the Center Pompidou, approved by the City of Paris and by the Elysée, “The Arc de triomphe, Wrapped” (“enveloped”, editor’s note), is the realization of the “dream” of the artist and his wife Jeanne-Claude.
As early as 1962, the couple had signed a photo-montage with the Arc de Triomphe packaged, an idea they had while looking at the monument from their first Parisian apartment, avenue Foch.
A project of 14 million euros entirely self-financed
At a cost of 14 million euros, the project is entirely self-financed, without public subsidy, thanks to the sale of original works by Christo, preparatory drawings, souvenirs, models and lithographs.
The monument and its terrace will remain accessible to the public throughout the duration of the project. And the flame of the Unknown Soldier will continue to burn.
Saturday, in the daily The world, the architect Carlo Ratti, one of Christo’s friends, called to give up “the aesthetics of high-waste packaging”.
It is also a project “very ecological”, defended the artist’s nephew, arguing that the fabric was completely recycled.