L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris, Place de l'Étoile-Charles de Gaulle), a temporary work of art, will be on view for 16 days, from September 18 to October 3, 2021.
L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris, Place de l'Étoile-Charles de Gaulle), a temporary work of art, will be on view for 16 days, from September 18 to October 3, 2021. Per Christo’s request, the project will be completed by his team in partnership with the Centre des Monuments Nationaux (CMN), the government institution that manages the Arc de Triomphe.
The Arc de Triomphe will be wrapped in 25,000 square meters of recyclable silvery blue polypropylene fabric and 3,000 meters of recyclable red polypropylene rope. The project is being entirely funded by the Estate of Christo V. Javacheff through the sale of Christo's original artworks, including preparatory studies, collages, drawings as well as scale models, works from the 1950s and 1960s and lithographs. Like all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's projects, it will receive no public funds or sponsorships.
Christo in his studio with a preparatory drawing for L'Arc de Triomphe, 'Wrapped' New York City, September 20, 2019. Photo by Wolfgang Volz, Copyright 2019 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation
In 1961, three years after they met in Paris, Christo and Jeanne-Claude began creating works of art in public spaces. In 1962 and 1963, Christo created a photomontage with the Arc de Triomphe wrapped, seen from Foch Avenue, and again featured the Arc de Triomphe wrapped in a collage in 1988. He began actively developing this project in 2017, and now almost 60 years later, it will finally be realized. “It will be like a living object who will move in the wind and reflect the light. With its moving folds, the monument’s surface will become sensual. People will want to touch the Arc de Triomphe” Christo. The project was submitted to the Centre des Monuments Nationaux by the Centre Pompidou which organized the exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Paris! And is in coordination with the City of Paris.
“Thirty-six years after the Pont-Neuf, one of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's most ambitious projects will finally see the light of day”, says Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris. “From September 18 to October 3, the Arc de Triomphe will be wrapped according to Christo's plans to showcase this emblematic monument of our capital and our history.
More than a year after Christo's death, Paris is continuing the work of this great artist, giving us the opportunity to thank him and reaffirm our commitment to modern art". As in any city where Christo and Jeanne-Claude installed their artworks, The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped will offer a unique experience to Parisians and Paris lovers. This work will also be a strong signal that the world is reopening and the installation of this art piece will be a unique moment in Paris’ history.
The Centre des Monuments Nationaux is pleased about the realization of a project that demonstrates its commitment to contemporary creation and that honors one of the most emblematic monuments in Paris and in France. The monument and its terrace will stay accessible to the public during the entire duration of the project.
“Over thirty years after the Pont Neuf wrapping, the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe by Christo will be an event with a global resonance, which the Centre des Monuments Nationaux is delighted to make possible”, explains Philippe Bélaval, President of the Centre des monuments nationaux. “From everywhere, millions of eyes will be looking at this iconic monument of France and Paris' history. After two difficult years, heritage and creation will unite to offer the public an unforgettable moment of shared joy”. “Christo and Jeanne-Claude's projects give the spaces in which they intervene new strength, unexpected poetry and unusual beauty, without ever changing their original nature”, adds Serge Lasvignes, President of the Centre Georges-Pompidou.
“They are also interventions that spark curiosity, exchange and debate. These two remarkable human beings loved humanity and challenged us to embrace it through their art”. The Eternal Flame, in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe, will continue to burn throughout set-up and dismantling, as well as during the display of the artwork. As always, veterans, associations and volunteers committed to the values of the French Republic will ensure the continuity of remembrance. The daily ceremony of rekindling the flame that pays homage to the Unknown Soldier and those who lost their lives fighting for France will take place in the solemnity required.
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