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The couple's final work of Art – wrapping the Arc de Triomphe – is coming to life

Christo Javacheff sadly passed away at the age of 84 just as a major exhibition devoted to him and his wife and partner Jeanne-Claude was about to start at the Pompidou centre, Sunday 31st May 2020. However, neither his death nor the sanitary crisis could stop the couple's final work of Art – wrapping the Arc de Triomphe – from coming to life. The Arc is located in the middle of a stunning star-shaped roundabout at the top of one of the most beautiful avenues in the world and is, alongside the Eiffel Tower commissioned by Napoleon, the most symbolic monument in the French capital. 270,000sqft of silver blue material and 9,843ft of rope, managed by 3 teams working non-stop around the clock, will be necessary to fully wrap the monument in-line with Christo's precise instructions.

L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE : L’ULTIME PERFORMANCE DE CHRISTOThe iconic couple he formed with Jeanne-Claude had been wrapping monuments and symbolic locations around the world since the 1960s, including Central Park, Hyde Park, the Reichstag building and even Colorado Valley… each time they chose sites so famous they had become part of the scenery over time. Their often-urban performance was to wrap the buildings up, totally covering them in material and rope, only revealing the dense volume while concealing all ornamental details for a certain time.

The monument would then only exist in the imagination. Once unveiled it could be seen in a new light allowing it to be reinvented in a certain manner.




L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE : L’ULTIME PERFORMANCE DE CHRISTOThe current event will last two weeks and take place during the National Heritage Days and the all-night Arts Festival (Nuit Blanche). It makes even more sense knowing the couple met and started working together in Paris in 1958 before moving to the States, and then came back in 1985 to wrap up the Pont Neuf, which went down in Paris' history.

If you go down the Champs Élysées to get a better perspective of the Arc de Triomphe, continue on to the Buddha Bar for drinks in luxurious, monumental yet intimate settings, bathed in colourful lights and lounge music. A massive 13-foot buddha greets customers and offers access to three levels, alcoves and the dragon sculptured bar!

L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE : L’ULTIME PERFORMANCE DE CHRISTOOr why not see works by an artist who makes and manipulates a very different type of material. El Anatsui from Ghana made a name for himself in Modern Art - awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 2015 – by creating monumental cloth-like wall sculptures. His method consists of sewing thousands of recuperated metal bottle caps and aluminium can pieces together with copper wire to create a type of material. He produces tapestries in either a single shimmering colour or very boldly coloured. See his one of his tapestries at La Conciergerie, on Île de la Cité. It is spread out under the arch of the gigantic Salle des gens d’armes, the largest Gothic hall in the history of civil architecture in Europe and is named En quête de liberté (in quest of freedom), referring to the sad history of La Conciergerie which went from being a palace to the prison where the last Queen of France, Marie-Antionette spent her final days.

The Arc de Triomphe wrapped by Christo and Jeanne-Claude will be exhibited from the 18th of September to the 3rd of October.

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