France’s Arc De Triomphe Wrapped in Fabric

Sixty years after first conceptualising the idea, the Arc de Triomphe is completely shrouded in fabric.

Sep 20, 2021 | By Sarah Ridzwan
arc de triomphe
Image: Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Foundation

From today (September 20) until October 3, the Arc de Triomphe will be wrapped in 25,000 square metres of fabric. The large-scale project was a longstanding vision of the late artists, Christo and Jeanne-Claude

After three months of construction, the landmark built in Napoleon’s reign has been completely concealed in silver-blue polypropylene fabric bound with red ropes. It began with 400 steel beams that were erected like a metal jacket around the structure, followed by the wrapping which was conducted by a few climbers over the course of several days.

The project is titled, “L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped”. 60 years since Christo first had the idea of wrapping the monument, and more than a decade after Jeanne-Claude’s death who passed away in 2009, the iconic landmark in Paris has transformed into a large piece of art.

Vladimir Yavachev, Christo’s nephew and the project’s director of operations, explained that the shimmering colour of the fabric and the ropes are Christo’s interpretation of the blue, white, and red of the French flag. 

Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, also took to Twitter to thank the teams who made this project possible. 

Christo and Jeanne-Claude are most known for their ambitious projects, transforming public spaces into famous works of art, such as “The Pont Neuf Wrapped” in 1985. 

The entire project costs around US$16.5 million. The project will be entirely funded through the sale of preparatory drawings and other original artworks. Sotheby’s Paris is hosting an exhibition and private sale with proceeds going towards the project and the artists’ foundation

The project website states that there are no tickets needed to see the installation and that the Place de l’Étoile will be closed to road traffic to allow pedestrians to enjoy the work of art. 

There is one caveat to anyone hoping to take pictures of the arc: selfie sticks are forbidden in the pedestrian area and at the monument. 

Also in art news, Berlin Art Week recently ended and one of the highlights include the world’s most expensive avocado toast. Costing US$3 million and cast completely in gold, the artwork is a symbol of wealth and status in today’s culture.

Closer to home, Tunku Khalsom has a new art exhibition at Bayfront Pavillion in Gardens by the Bay. Bringing colour, emotion, and hope through her exhibition called “The Colours That Surround Us”.

For more art reads, click here.

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