L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped
From 18 September to 3 October, it's Christmas before time in Paris, in the middle of the place de l'Etoile and a few steps from the avenue des Champs-Elysées.
More than 35 years after packing the Pont-Neuf in Paris, the artist Christo invites you to discover the Arc de Triomphe, one of the capital's emblematic monuments, completely revamped under 25,000 square metres of recyclable blue-silver polypropylene fabric and 7,000 metres of red rope, also recyclable.
Open to the public for the duration of the exhibition, it is a brand new Arc de triomphe which will come to life during these 16 exceptional days and which will be the object of all attention. The sun's rays will be reflected on the canvas that wraps the monument up to the panoramic terrace to offer us new perspectives on the roofs of Paris and on the most beautiful avenue in the world, the wind will be able to delicately slip into the interstices to make the arches and sculptures of this monument dedicated to Napoleonic glory vibrate… Mediators will be present all around the work to accompany you in your discovery and will even be able to give you a piece of canvas if you wish!
The Arc de Triomphe, wrapped*, another way to declare one' s love for Paris
This crazy project that the artist had in mind since 1962 is finally coming out of the box almost sixty years later and is coming to life despite the artist's death in 2020. Christo was particularly fond of Paris, where he settled at the end of the 1950s after fleeing his native Bulgaria and where he met his wife and artistic partner Jeanne-Claude. A couple in the city and in work, lovers of gigantic and ephemeral art, throughout their rich career they wrapped some of the world's most iconic monuments like huge gift packages, including Sydney's Wrapped Coast in 1968-69, Colorado's Valley Curtain in 1970-72, the Surrounded Islands in Biscayne Bay (Miami) in 1980-83, The Gates of Central Park in 2005, The London Mastaba, Hyde Park, London, 2016-2018, and not forgetting Pont-Neuf de Paris in 1985, a titanic work that has remained etched in Parisians' memories.
Like all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's art projects, L'Arc de triomphe empaqueté is entirely self-financed through the sale of Christo's original works: collages, drawings from this and other projects, as well as models, works from the 1950s and 1960s and lithographs.
The space under the Arc de Triomphe, which overlooks the sacred slab where the Flame of the Nation burns permanently in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, remains accessible throughout the exhibition.