In September 2020, Paris was to welcome a monumental work: artist Christo was to make the Arc de Triomphe disappear and the work was to be visible for the European Heritage Days and the White Night. But because of the health crisis, the operation held in partnership with the Centre Pompidou and the Centre des Monuments Naitonaux is postponed. Christo is coming back to Paris from September 18th to October, 3rd, 2021 with a monumental installation, The Arc de Triomphe, wrapped, project for Paris, Place de l’Etoile-Charles de Gaulle.
On Sunday May 31, 2020, the world is told the artist passed away at age 84. Yet, even Christo's death could not prevent the realization of this iconic performance: according to the artist's relatives, the Arc de Triomphe will be wrapped. The work will be unveiled posthumously from September 18 to October 3, 2021.
Two months before the inauguration of this monumental installation, the work has started: on Friday July 16, workers have arrived to wrap this flagship monument in Paris. The work was visible from the Champs-Elysées.
25,000sqm of silver-blue fabric and 3,000 meters of red rope will dress this monument in a very specific fashion, according to instructions left by Christo. The metal structures already protect the most fragile part of the Arc de Triomphe such as Le Triomphe de Napoléon or Le Départ des Volontaires and will enable the fabric "once spread not to rub it while shaped almost like what it represents", Arc de Triomphe administrator Bruno Cordeau said. The wrapping started this past September 11, by the Avenue de Wagram, from the top, thanks to a 95-steeplejack team.
"Three teams will travel in turns, 24/7 to achieve it. As for unmaking it, they will have to do so within six days", before the celebration of November 11th, the artist's nephew, Vladimir Javacheff, told our peers from France Info.
Sparking many debates about contemporary art, the Arc de Triophe, wrapped, is the talk of the town and a successful tribute to Christo! The work of art has been inaugurated this Thursday by French President Emmanuel Macron alongside Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot and Paris Mayor Anne Hildalgo.
For our youngest readers, Christo and Jeanne-Claude “wrap” monuments all over the world since the 60’s: the Wrapped Coast in Sydney in 1968-69, the Valley Curtain in Colorado in 1970-72, the Biscayne Bay Surrounded Islands (Miami) in 1980-83, the Central Park Gates in 2005, The London Mastaba, Hyde Park, London, 2016-2018 and Paris Pont-Neuf in 1985.
35 years after The Pont Neuf, Wrapped, Christo does it again in Paris and makes the Arc de Triomphe disappear under 25,000 sqm of recyclable polypropylene silver and blue fabric and 7,000 m of red rope. He declared: “Thirty-five years after Jeanne-Claude and I have wrapped the Pont-Neuf, I’m eager to work again in Paris to realize this project for the Arc de Triomphe”.
We must say that Christo already worked on the project to wrap the Arc de Triomphe in 1962 and planned to wrap the trees of the Avenue des Champs-Elysées and the Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées in Paris… Be rest assured, the Flamme de la Nation in front of the grave of the Unknown solider will be entirely protected and remain visible all along the period (even during the installation period).
Last thing, The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped is entirely self-financed by Christo thanks to the sale of his preparatory studies, drawings and collages of the projects as well as models, works from the 50’s-60’s and original lithographs dedicated to other subjects.
Dates and Opening Time
From 18 September 2021 to 3 October 2021
L'Arc De Triomphe
75008 Paris 8