Arc de Triomphe Gets All Wrapped Up in Paris

Paris' famous Arc de Triomphe at night

© Shutterstock

Paris' famous Arc de Triomphe at night

© Shutterstock

Monumental makeover

One of the world's most famous monuments is being wrapped up in the name of art. Paris' Arc de Triomphe is being temporarily enclosed in 25,000 sq m/269,098 sq ft of recyclable, silvery blue fabric and 3,000 metres of recyclable red rope. The project called 'L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped' was originally conceived by the late Bulgarian artist Christo in 1961. A year later, the long-time Paris resident created a photomontage of the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe, and now nearly 60 years later, his vision is finally being realised as a posthumous tribute. It will be on view for 16 days.

Touching the Arc de Triomphe

"It will be like a living object stimulated by the wind and reflecting the light. The folds will move and the monument's surface will become sensual," Christo once said of his idea, according to AFP. "People are going to want to touch the Arc de Triomphe," he said. The realisation of his vision – and that of his co-designer and wife, Jean-Claude – will be overseen by his nephew Vladimir Javacheff with the support of the Pompidou museum and authorities. About one thousand people will help to complete the artwork, which will be funded by Christo's estate at a cost of €14 million.

Good to know: 

L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped runs from September 18 to October 3, 2021.

The monument and its terrace will stay accessible to the public during the installation, exhibition and dismantling of the work.

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