On Wednesday, Beaubourg finally reopens its doors with an exhibition dedicated to the great visual artists Christo, who died on May 31, and Jeanne-Claude. Entitled "Christo and Jeanne-Claude-Paris!", This retrospective returns in particular to the epic of the packaging of the Pont Neuf. An exhibition placed under strict health protocol.
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Reopening under strict health protocol
Reservations are required and each visitor must choose a time slot. Sanitary protocol requires, the capacity of the Center Pompidou is reduced, the wearing of a mask is compulsory and hydroalcoholic gel is made available to visitors. Social distancing is also marked on the ground, and this, in an original way, by quotes from great artists.
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On the 5th floor, visitors can discover the exhibition dedicated to the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude? which was due to start in March and which will therefore last until October 19. Archives, photos, films, the exhibition traces the origins of the works of these two great contemporary artists. We thus discover the preparation for the packaging of the Pont Neuf, a spectacular project for which Christo wrapped 40,000 m2 of beige fabric around the bridge using kilometers of ropes. A project that notably mobilized divers and rope access technicians.
How Christo and Jeanne-Claude convinced Jacques Chirac
We also discover that this project would never have seen the light of day without the determination of Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude, who convinced Jacques Chirac, then mayor of Paris. "They manage to get an appointment with Jacques Chirac in 1982", but Jacques Chirac "wants to be sure that it will cost nothing and that it will not tarnish his image", explains the exhibition curator Sophie Dupleix.
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At the time, for the mayor of Paris, the opinion of Parisians was very important. "What will Parisians think of the mayor with this Pont Neuf project? That's why he reserves his answer for after the municipal elections of the following year," adds Sophie Dupleix. Jacques Chirac therefore gives his agreement after the municipal elections, but the prefecture puts its veto. Jack Lang supports the project and finally, François Mitterrand gives the green light for the packaging of the Pont Neuf in 1985.
Christo was to package the Arc de Triomphe this year. Despite its disappearance, the project is postponed to 2021.