x

Culture

Paris’ Arc De Triomphe Is Being Wrapped in Fabric

September 16, 2021

PARIS — The city of Paris is unveiling a monumental artwork built around an actual monument: the Arc de Triomphe completely wrapped in silver and blue fabric.

The installation by late artist couple Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who conceived of the project in 1961, will open on Saturday. Visits will take place for nearly almost three weeks. At weekends, the Arc de Triomphe's traffic-heavy roundabout will be entirely pedestrianized.

Visitors to the famous Napoleonic arch, which dominates the Champs-Elysees Avenue, will not only be able to see the gleaming fabric, but also touch it too — as the artists had intended. 

Those climbing the 50 meters (164 feet) to the top will step on it when they reach the roof terrace.

In a press conference celebrating the project entitled "Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped," France's Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot called it "a formidable gift offered to Parisians, the French and beyond, to all art lovers." 

Noting the deaths of the artists with sadness, Bachelot added that it was "a posthumous testimony of artistic genius."

Bulgarian-born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon in Paris in 1958 and they later became lovers. The idea for the artwork was born in the early '60s, when they lived in Paris. Jeanne-Claude died in 2009, and Christo in May of last year. The monument was to be wrapped last fall, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed it.

Christo "wanted to complete this project. He made us promise him that we will do it," the couple's nephew, Vladimir Yavachev, told The Associated Press.

The 14 million-euro ($16.4 million) project is being financed through the sale of Christo's preparatory studies, drawings, scale models, and other pieces of work, Yavachev said.

The artists were known for elaborate, temporary creations that involved blanketing familiar public places with fabric, including Berlin's Reichstag and Paris' Pont Neuf bridge, and creating giant site-specific installations, such as a series of 7,503 gates in New York City's Central Park and the 24.5-mile "Running Fence" in California.

Yavachev said he plans to complete another one of their unfinished projects: a 150-meter-tall (492 feet) pyramid-like mastaba in Abu Dhabi.

"We have the blueprints, we just have to do it," he said.

RELATED

NEW YORK — André Leon Talley, the towering former creative director and editor at large of Vogue magazine, has died.

Top Stories

Church

OCEAN, NJ – Rafaella Lambrinos, whose family is from Karpathos originally, spoke with The National Herald about the Adopt a Yiayia and Pappou program she founded at St George Greek Orthodox Church in Ocean, NJ, which connects youth and seniors from her church community through weekly phone conversations.

Associations

NEW YORK – Greek-American Trevor Zegras, forward for the Anaheim Ducks is set to play in his first NHL game in New York City against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, March 15, 7 PM.

General News

WASHINGTON, DC – AHEPA deeply mourns the passing of Past Supreme President and co-founder of AHEPA National Housing Corporation (ANHC) Nick Smyrnis.

Video

1 Killed, 8 Hurt as Suspected Gas Explosion Hits Bronx Home

NEW YORK — A suspected gas explosion partially collapsed a home in the Bronx, setting the structure ablaze and killing a woman and injuring eight other people, including five police officers, officials said.