Six decades and 1000 workers later, it’s L’Arc de Triomphe enveloped by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

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Christo and Jeanne-Claude, L’Arc de Triomphe, Envelopé, Paris, 1961-2021. photo: Benjamin Loyseau © 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

Six decades in preparation, the regrets of Christo and Jeanne-Claude The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021, was unveiled this weekend. In accordance with Christo’s wishes, the work was produced by his team in partnership with the Center des monuments nationaux (CMN) and with the support of the Center Pompidou and the City of Paris.

More than 1000 workers contributed to the realization of the project, including 95 climbers to unfold the fabric panels on each of the four facades of the Arc de Triomphe from its roof terrace. The facades of the monument are now completely covered.

Ropes are being installed to secure and bypass the fabric on the Arc de Triomphe Paris, September 13, 2021. photo: Lubri © 2021 Fondation Christo et Jeanne-Claude

The project was born from the professional and artisanal talent of around thirty companies, including Les Charpentiers de Paris, who were also the builders of the Pont-Neuf cladding in 1985; Réseau Jade, a French company specializing 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 Christo’s imagination expressed in his designs to life, which we did in this project, creating the fabric and ropes based on our engineering knowledge,” said Jörg Tritthardt, CEO by büro für leichtbau, who previously worked on The Wrapped Reichstag. “Every visual step in adapting his designs has been approved by him, and it’s fantastic to make this project happen. It is a gift for each of us.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021. photo: Lubri © 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

The Arc de Triomphe monument is wrapped in 25,000 square meters of recyclable silver-blue polypropylene fabric and 3,000 meters of recyclable red polypropylene rope. The public project is fully funded through the sale of original artwork by Christo, including preparatory studies and collages, scale models, artwork from the 1950s and 1960s, and lithographs.

The Eternal Flame, in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe, will continue to burn throughout the assembly and disassembly, and during the exhibition of the work of art.


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