Arc de Triomphe to be wrapped in fabric for posthumous artwork

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The Arc de Triomphe in Paris is set to be wrapped in silver and blue fabric next month as part of a posthumous art installation designed by the late artists known as Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

The idea for the installation was formed in 1961, when the collaborating couple – known for temporary creations that involve blanketing familiar public places with fabric – lived in Paris.

Jeanne-Claude died in 2009, while Christo died in May 2020, but the project has continued.

France Arc de Triomphe
A video outlines how the artwork will look (AP)

A sale of drawings, models and other art is financing the 14.4 million dollar (£10.4 million) piece, with the installation scheduled for September 18 to October 3.

Mr Yavachev said: “Christo has wrapped museums, parliaments, as in Germany – but a monument like this? Not really.

Vladimir Yavachev
Vladimir Yavachev, a nephew of the late artist Christo, is leading the ‘L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped’ project (AP)

Preparations have already started on the Napoleonic era arch, where workers are covering statues to protect them from the recyclable polypropylene wrapping.

The Arc de Triomphe
A sculpture on the Arc de Triomphe is protected during preparations (AP)

Visitors to the foot of the Arc de Triomphe during the “L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped” installation will be able to touch the fabric, and those climbing to the top will step on it when they reach the roof terrace, as intended by the artists.

Born in Bulgaria in 1935, Christo Vladimirov Javacheff met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon – who was born in Morocco on the exact same day as him – in Paris in 1958.

Arc de Triomphe
The Paris landmark will be covered with fabric in silvery blue and red ropes (AP)

Mr Yavachev plans to complete another one of his uncle and aunt’s unfinished projects: a 492ft pyramid-like mastaba in Abu Dhabi.

“We have the blueprints, we just have to do it,” he said.

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