That’s a wrap | Christo’s Arch of Triumph
The mega pop-up art installation in Paris L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped by Christo, a temporary art work that will be fully completed and on display for all to see from Saturday, September 18 to Sunday, October 3, 2021.
The Arch of Triumph will be wrapped in over 269,000 square feet of recyclable polypropylene fabric with close to 1000 feet of red rope.
The project has been decades in the making, starting three years after Christo met his wife Jeanne-Claude in 1961. Living near the Arc de Triomphe, he began envisioning this ambitious undertaking producing his first sketches and photo-montages in 1962 and 1963.
Despite his death in May of 2020, his great project was approved in 2020 by the National Monuments Center—which manages the arch as well as close to 100 other national monuments—and the Paris City Council in 2020 with the support of the Pompidou Center. The Centre Pompidou organized an exhibit last year of Christo’s major projects and works. It has always been clear that Christo’s and Jeanne-Claude’s projects would be achieved and completed by their team after their deaths.
The Arc de Triomphe* will remain open to the public during the 16-day wrap of the iconic Paris monument and the Eternal Flame, in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will continue to burn throughout the installation, display, and dismantling of the artwork.
*Arc de Triomphe on the Place de l'Etoile—now known as the place Charles-de-Gaulle is one of the most iconic monuments in Paris. The Arc de Triomphe honors those who fought and died for France during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Under its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the First World War.
The monument was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806 on the orders of Napoleon, and inaugurated in 1836 for the sixth anniversary of the Three Glories—Les Trois Glorieuses, the name of the second French Revolution in July of 1830. With its 50 meters in height, 45 meter width and depth of 22 meters, it was the largest triumphal arch in the world before the construction in 1982 of the one in Pyongyang. Its design was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus.