Huge curtains fell on the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Elysees avenue in the French capital, Paris, in preparation for its complete wrapping, in honor of the late artist Christo and the realization of one of his unfulfilled artistic dreams in his life.
This landmark will wrap the center of the French capital with about 25,000 meters of recyclable fabric made of polypropylene in silver and blue colors in the next few days.
Crowds of people gathered in front of this monument, which is one of the most famous landmarks in France, to watch the packaging process, which began on Sunday.
Covering this giant architectural masterpiece in plastic was the idea of Bulgarian-born artist Christo, who died last year, and his wife and assistant Jean-Claude.
Christo was known for his fondness for wrapping famous landmarks around the world with textile covers, and he dreamed of doing so with the Arc de Triomphe, which is about 50 meters high, since the late artist rented an apartment near him in the 1960s.
Christo and his wife, Jean-Claude, used this type of recyclable fabric to wrap the Reichstag building in Berlin, the parliament building in the former German Reich, and they also covered the Bonn-Neuf “New Bridge” over the Seine in Paris.
But the artist Christo could not fulfill his dream of enveloping the Arc de Triomphe.
It seems that it is time for Christo’s dream to come true at the hands of his nephew, Vladimir Gavachev, at an estimated cost of 14 million euros.
Javachev collaborated with the Pompidou Museum and the French authorities to see the project come to light.
“Today we are witnessing one of the most important moments of encapsulation, the encapsulated Arc de Triomphe is beginning to appear and is close to realizing the vision that Christo and Jean-Claude have always dreamed of,” said Javachev.
It is expected that the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe will be completed next Saturday, and this wrapping will continue in its place over this Parisian historical landmark until the third of next October.
The Arc de Triomphe will remain open for visitors to watch, wrapped in this artistic way, for a period of sixteen days.
The Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte had ordered the construction of this monument in the nineteenth century AD to commemorate the soldiers who were killed in his military campaigns.
Born in 1935, Christo Vladimirov Gavachev lived in Austria and Switzerland before moving to France and meeting Jean-Claude in Paris.
In addition to transforming monuments and landmarks around the world by encapsulating them, the couple created giant works of environmental art in natural settings before Jean-Claude died in 2009 at the age of 74.
Christo died last May at his home in New York, in the United States, at the age of 85.
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