The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (a project for Paris) imagined by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

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from 18/09/2021 to 03/10/2021
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A project to wrap the Arc de Triomphe in Paris first imagined in 1962 by the famed artist couple Christo and Jeanne-Claude and which was supposed to take place last year, will finally be realised posthumously by the artists’ team according to the wishes of Christo who died in May 2020 (Jeanne-Claude died in 2009).

 A temporary artwork in Paris called The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris, Place de l’Étoile-Charles de Gaulle), realised in close collaboration with the Centre Pompidou and the Centre des monuments nationaux (CMN), For only 16 days from 18 September to 3 October 2021, the monument commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon to commemorate those who died for France will be “wrapped” in 25,000 square meters of silvery-blue recyclable polypropylene fabric, and 3,000 meters of red rope, an ephemeral art installation entirely financed by the sale of Christo’s drawings. Previous monuments wrapped by Christo and Jeanne-Claude include the Pont Neuf in Paris and the Reichstag in Berlin. See the website of the artists (in English) for more images videos.

The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (a project for Paris) imagined by Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Drawing 2019 in two parts 15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm) Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon,
enamel paint, architectural and topographical study, hand-drawn map on vellum and tape
Photo: André Grossmann © 2019 Christo

Throughout the entire period when the artwork is on display, as well as during its preparation, the space beneath the Arc de Triomphe over the consecrated stone slab, where, since 1923 the Eternal Flame has burned in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, will be fully maintained. As always, veterans associations and volunteers committed to the values of the French Republic will ensure the continuity of remembrance and of the daily ceremony of rekindling the flame, paying homage to the Unknown Soldier with the appropriate solemnity.

As a prelude to the production of this work, a major exhibition was presented at the Centre Georges Pompidou, from 18 March to 15 June 2020, retracing Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s years in Paris from 1958 to 1964 as well as the story of the project The Pont-Neuf Wrapped, Project for Paris, 1975-1985. “The exhibition at the Centre Pompidou will reveal the historical context of the period during which we lived and worked in Paris,” said Christo.

The Centre des monuments nationaux, the government institution that manages and conserves the Arc de Triomphe, is pleased about the realisation of a project that demonstrates its commitment to contemporary creation and that honours one of the most emblematic monuments in Paris and in France.

The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped will be self-financed by Christo through the sale of his preparatory studies, drawings, collages of the project as well as scale models, works from the 50s and 60s and original lithographs dedicated to other subjects. The installation will not receive any public or private funding.

 

 

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