From September 18 to October 3, an extraordinary new attraction is on show in Paris. It’s the Wrapped Arc de Triomphe, an art work created by the Bulgarian artist Christo Vladimirov Yavachev and his French wife Jeanne-Claude.
The project is costing between €12 million and €14 million, and is funded privately through the sale of Christo’s preparatory studies, drawings, scale models as well as works from the 1950s and 1960s.
The great arch built by Napoleon is draped in 25,000 metres of silver-blue fabric tied with 3,000 metres of red rope. It’s very specialised and difficult work, with specially trained rock climbers scaling a very different surface from the usual.
A Monumental Task
It’s not the first Parisian monument to be wrapped by the couple. In 1985 it was the turn of the Pont-Neuf, to be followed 10 years later by the Wrapped Reichstag in Berlin.
But sadly the couple will not see the work; Jeanne-Claude died in 2009, and Christo in on May 31, 2020 in New York.
If you’re in Paris it’s a must-see attraction, something that will not occur again. The symbol of power and triumph is transformed into something ephemeral, a delicate sculpture that moves slightly in the breeze.
Napoleon’s France and what he built in and outside Paris
More about the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation
Cover Photo: Christo and the Arc de Triomphe Wolfgang Volz © 2019 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation