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Arc de Triomphe: It's a wrap!

 

Just in time for Heritage Days this year, one big piece of France's cultural and historical heritage will take on an entirely new look, as the Arc de Triomphe, at the head of the Champs Elysees will be wrapped in silvery blue polyethylene for just over two weeks.

It's a project conceived by Christo, the artist noted for wrapping cultural monuments throughout the world, nearly sixty years ago. Although Christo died in 2009, the project continued to incubate under the direction of his wife and collaboator Jeanne-Claude, and was approved in 2018.

The work is already well underway, as seen in the photo above, with frameworks around architectural sections, and part of the polyethylene, which will be recycled, has been hung. During the wrapped period, the base of the monument will still be open to visitors, and the eternal flame under it will be untouched.

The image below is from Christo's 1962 sketch of his plan, which uses 30,000 square meters of silver-blue fabric fastened with 7,000 meters of red rope.

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UPDATE, Sept 12

The work of wrapping continues, as seen in today's photo. The grand unveiling, or perhaps the grand veiling, is set for Saturday, September 18.

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