L’ Arc de Triomphe Wrapped!

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By next Saturday, September 18, visitors will be able to view Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s completed artwork L' Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021. In accordance with Christo’s wishes, the artwork is being completed by his team in partnership with the Centre des monuments nationaux (CMN) and with the support of the Centre Pompidou and the City of Paris.

Over 1000 workers will have contributed to the realisation of the project, which is now entering its final stage. Since 7AM yesterday, a team of 140 workers, including 95 climbers, have unfolded the fabric. panels on each of the four facades of the Arc de Triomphe from its rooftop terrace. The facades on the Wagram and Champs-Elysées are now entirely covered, and the entire monument will be covered by today, Monday September 13 th.

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“Today we are unfolding fabric from the top of the monument and this is one of the most spectacular moments of the installation”, said Vladimir Yavachev, director of the project. “L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped begins to come alive, more visibly approaching the vision of what was a lifelong dream for Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Early on September 18th, once we have finished adding all the ropes and the final details, the fences will be removed to allow the public to come, see and touch the artwork for free. Making their art accessible to everyone was always essential to Christo and Jeanne-Claude.”

This project rests on the professional talent and craftsmanship of approximately thirty companies, which include Les Charpentiers de Paris, who were also the builders for the wrapping of the Pont-Neuf in 1985; Réseau Jade, a French company specialising in rope access; the German engineering and design studio Schlaich Bergermann Partner (SBP); and the German membrane engineering company Büro Für Leichtbau.

“Our job is to bring to life Christo’s imagination expressed in his drawings, which we did in this project, creating the fabric and the ropes based on our engineering knowledge” said Jörg Tritthardt, CEO of büro für leichtbau, who previously worked on The Wrapped Reichstag. “Every visual step of the adaptation of his drawings was approved by him, and it's fantastic to realize this project. It’s a gift to each of us.”

The Arc de Triomphe monument is wrapped in 25,000 square meters of recyclable silvery blue polypropylene fabric and 3,000 meters of recyclable red polypropylene rope. The project is entirely funded through the sale of original works of art by Christo, including preparatory studies and collages, models, artworks from the 1950s and 1960s and lithographs. Like all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's projects, it received no public funds or sponsorships.

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To enable visitors to enjoy The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped safely and close up, the Place de l’Etoile will be pedestrianised for the three weekends of its presentation to the public. This exceptional closure to traffic of the Place Charles de Gaulle has been organised with the cooperation of the Ville de Paris and the Préfecture de Police in order to ensure the safety and enjoyment of the event.


Throughout the duration of the L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, including the installation (through September 17
th, 2021) and dismantling (from October 4th to November 10th, 2021), the interiors and the panoramic terrace of the monument, managed by the CMN, will remain open to the public.

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In order to preserve the integrity of the classified Historical Monument, the operations undertaken to set up and dismantle L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped are subject to scientific and technical monitoring by Ministry of Culture teams.

 

The Eternal Flame, in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe, will continue to burn throughout set-up and dismantling, and during the display of the artwork. The daily ceremony of rekindling the flame that pays homage to the Unknown Soldier and those who lost their lives fighting for France will take place in the solemnity required.

L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped is free for everyone to experience and enjoy throughout the project.

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Cover Photo ©Benjamin Loyseau - 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

All the photos ©2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

 

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    L' Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped 25

    L' Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped

    Paris / France / 2021