Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude dreamed of it for years.

Today, the packaging of the Arc de Triomphe is in its home stretch.

Several hundred square meters of recyclable fabric in bluish silver polypropylene, intended to undulate according to the elements, were unrolled, Sunday, September 12, on one side of the Parisian monument. 

From September 18 to October 3, the childhood dream of Christo (died in May 2020) and his wife Jeanne-Claude, will be realized: a major place of French commemorations, the Arc de Triomphe, 50 meters high, will be fully transformed into a gigantic gift package, held together by 3000 meters of red rope.

In 1985, Christo had already packed the Pont-Neuf in Paris, spanning the Seine.

Centimeters by centimeters, the packaging of the Arc de Triomphe began this Sunday morning.

The posthumous project by artist Christo requires 25,000 square meters of fabric.

#Paris #francebleu #ChristoParis pic.twitter.com/H85bEDmgmo

- France Bleu Paris (@francebleuparis) September 12, 2021

After weeks of preparations, a team of 95 rope access technicians set off on Sunday morning from the top of the Arc de Triomphe to deploy, on the avenue de Wagram side, a first roll of fabric.

The packaging (25,000 m² of fabric) will continue day and night to be ready on September 18, the day of the inauguration.

"The dream of a lifetime"

“Today is one of the most spectacular moments in the installation. The wrapped Arc de Triomphe begins to come to life and comes even closer to the vision of what was Christo's lifelong dream. and Jeanne-Claude ", confided Vladimir Yavachev, nephew of the artist who supervises the project.

"On the morning of September 18, once we have finished arranging the ropes and making the final touches, the protective grids of the current site will be removed to allow the public to come, see and touch the boat free of charge. work of art ".

The packaging of the Arc de Triomphe "will be like a living object which will come alive in the wind and reflect the light. The folds will move, the surface of the monument will become sensual", explained Christo while presenting his final project, two years before his death.

As early as 1962, Christo and Jeanne-Claude had signed a photomontage with the Arc de Triomphe packaged, an idea that arose while looking at the monument from their first Parisian apartment, avenue Foch.

No public funding 

At a cost of 14 million euros, the project is entirely self-financed, without public subsidy, thanks to the sale of original works by Christo, preparatory drawings, souvenirs, models and lithographs.

Hello,


The entire cost of the project is supported by the Estate of the artist Christo, thanks to the proceeds from the sales of his original works.


No cost is assumed by the taxpayer or @lecmn, in charge of @ ArcDeTriomphe.


More info: https://t.co/wJ1efrhZF8

- the CMN (@leCMN) September 12, 2021

On Saturday, in the daily Le Monde, the architect Carlo Ratti, one of Christo's friends, however called, in a forum, to abandon "the aesthetics of high-waste packaging".

"I suggest that we stop packing the Arc de Triomphe, both for environmental and intellectual reasons. From an environmental point of view, can we afford to waste 25,000 m² of fabric for the packaging of a monument? The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, "writes Carlo Ratti.

Asked by AFP, Christo's nephew did not wish to react.

With AFP

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