Even after his death, artist Christo's dream project of wrapping up Paris' Arc de Triomphe in silvery-blue recyclable fabric will go ahead next year in line with his wishes, organisers said on Tuesday.
From Paris's oldest bridge to Berlin's Reichstag, the Bulgarian-born artist spent decades wrapping landmarks and creating improbable structures around the world.
And his death in New York on May 31 at the age of 84 is not going to stop the realisation of a major project Christo first imagined back in 1961, when he used to gaze at the monument from his small bedroom in the French capital.
"Even before his wife Jeanne-Claude's death in 2009, Christo had said that he wanted the project to be carried out if they were to die," said Laure Martin, the head of the project "L'Arc de Triomphe: Wrapped".
The world-famous war memorial was originally due to be wrapped in 25,000sq m of recyclable polypropylene fabric and 7,000m of red rope between Sept 18 and Oct 3 this year.
But the coronavirus pandemic caused the project to be pushed back to the same dates in 2021.
"The project is maintained. Its installation will begin on July 15, 2021 and it will have been fully taken down by October 31, 2021," said Martin.
Wrapping up the Arc de Triomphe was going to coincide with a retrospective exhibition at the city's Pompidou Centre, due to begin on March 16, the day before France went into a two-month lockdown.
The exhibition focuses on Christo and Jeanne-Claude's life together in Paris between 1958 and 1964, as well as the wrapping of the Pont-Neuf bridge in 1985.
Like all his installations, the Arc de Triomphe project will be fully financed through the sale of Christo's drawings, drafts and models, without any public or private funds. - AFP
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