The artist Christo has announced plans to wrap the Parisian landmark next spring. The Arc de Triomphe is said to be packed in approximately 25,000 square meters of silver-blue fabric, which is held together with a total of 7,000 meters of red rope.
The Paris landmark is set to disappear from the 6th to the 19th of April 2020, as announced on Tuesday by the Center of National Monuments (CMN), which manages the site.
Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude, who died in 2009, became famous among other things with the veiling of the Berlin Reichstag in 1995. Parallel to the concealment of the Arc de Triomphe, the Paris Center Pompidou will dedicate an exhibition from March 18th to June 15th 2020. It focuses on the years 1958 to 1964, when the artist couple lived in the French capital.
At the same time, the exhibition illustrates the history of the world-famous project of concealing the Pont Neuf in 1985. The oldest bridge in Paris was packed in 40,000 square meters of sand-colored polyamide fabric.
“Thirty-five years after Jeanne-Claude and I veiled Pont Neuf, I am impatient to return to Paris to carry out our project for the Arc de Triomphe,” Christo explained. In 1962, the artist couple already published a first montage of the project. The work should be realized without any public subsidies. Christo plans to finance the artwork through, among other things, the sale of preparatory studies, drawings and earlier works.
Throughout the entire period when the artwork is on display as well as during its preparation, the space beneath the arc de triomphe where the holy flagstone lies and where since 1923 the eternal flame has burned in front of the tomb of the unknown soldier, will be fully maintained. As always, associations, charity workers and volunteers committed to the values of the french republic will take turns to ensure the continuity of souvenir and memory, and to proceed with daily ceremony of rekindling the flame and of paying homage to the unknown soldier with the appropriate solemnity.
images: André Grossmann © 2019 Christo