The packed Arc de Triomphe, Christo's latest project, is coming. Here's when

Dates are finally arriving to see the packed Arc de Triomphe, Christo's latest project, in Paris. You will only be able to do so for 16 days.

There are finally dates for thepacked Arc de Triomphe, the latest project by Christo (Christo Vladimirov Yavachev; Gabrovo, 1935 - New York, 2020), which will be realized posthumously: it will last 16 days and will be visible from Saturday, September 18 to Sunday, October 3, 2021. Twenty-five thousand square meters of recyclable polypropylene fabric and 3,000 meters of red rope, of the same material, will be used to wrap the great Paris monument. The Centre des monuments nationaux, the state agency that manages national monuments, will oversee the operations and will ensure on behalf of the state that the whole thing takes place without damage to the Arc de Triomphe. The Centre des monuments nationaux has willingly agreed to have Christo’s latest work done on the Arc de Triomphe because it considers it compatible with its commitment to supporting contemporary creativity and enhancing one of the most iconic sites in Paris and all of France.

Like all of Christo’s projects, L’Arc de Triomphe empaqueté (Projet pour Paris, Place de l’Étoile-Charles de Gaulle) will be 100 percent self-funded (so there will be no other funding, either public or private) thanks to the sale of Christo’s original works such as project drawings, sketches, collages but also lithographs and works from the 1950s and 1960s. The monument will continue to be accessible to the public and visitable for the duration of the project, although the conditions for access will be announced soon.

The project to pack the Arc de Triomphe, as Christo has done with other monuments around the world(read an in-depth look at ten iconic works by Christo), is a dream the artist has always pursued: it was in 1961 when, three years after meeting his future wife, Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon (Casablanca, 1935 - New York, 2009), Christo began to conceive his temporary works designed for public space, and as early as 1962-1963 he made a photomontage with the packed Arc de Triomphe, seen from avenue Foch. Then again, in 1988 he executed a collage on the same theme, before resuming the development of the project as of 2017. So, sixty years after the first idea, Christo’s dream will finally be realized.

The project received the patronage of the City of Paris and was accompanied in 2020 by an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou entitled Christo et Jeanne-Claude. Paris ! which reconstructed the Bulgarian artist’s Parisian years (1958 to 1964) and the main project the couple realized in the city, the packed Pont-Neuf (1975-1985).

Image: Christo, L’Arc de Triomphe empaqueté (Projet pour Paris, Place de l’Etoile-Charles de Gaulle), detail (2019; pencil, pastel, and enamel drawing on paper in two parts, 38 x 244 and 106.6 x 244 cm). Photo by André Grossmann © 2019 Christo

The packed Arc de Triomphe, Christo's latest project, is coming. Here's when
The packed Arc de Triomphe, Christo's latest project, is coming. Here's when

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