Last straight line for the packaging of the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris! Sunday, bluish silver fabrics, intended to undulate in the wind, were unrolled on one of the sides of the monument. From Saturday until October 3, the childhood dream of Christo (died in May 2020) and his wife Jeanne-Claude, will be realized: high place of French commemorations, the Arc de Triomphe, 50 meters high , will be completely transformed into a gigantic gift package, held together by 3,000 meters of red rope. In 1985, Christo had already
so packed in Paris the Pont-Neuf, spanning the Seine.
After weeks of preparations, a team of 95 rope access technicians launched yesterday morning from the top of the Arc de Triomphe to deploy, on the avenue de Wagram side, a first roll of fabric. The packaging (25,000 m2 of fabric) will continue day and night to be ready on September 18, the day of the inauguration.
“Today is one of the most spectacular moments of the installation. The packaged Triumphal Arch is starting to come to life and comes even closer to the vision of what was the lifelong dream of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, ”said Vladimir Yavachev, nephew of the artist who oversees the project. “On the morning of September 18, once we have finished arranging the ropes and making the final touches, the protective grids of the current site will be removed to allow the public to come, see and touch the boat free of charge. work of art, ”he continues.
A work of 14 million euros self-financed
The packaging of the Arc de Triomphe “will be like a living object that will come alive in the wind and reflect the light. The folds will move, the surface of the monument will become sensual ”, explained Christo while presenting his final project, two years before his death. As early as 1962, Christo and Jeanne-Claude had signed a photomontage with the Arc de Triomphe packaged, an idea that arose while looking at the monument from their first Parisian apartment, avenue Foch.
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.