Paris France /

Several hundred square meters of silver-blue recyclable polypropylene fabric were unfolded on one side of the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday, kicking off the final stretch of the “packaging” of the Parisian monument, the posthumous dream work of the artist Christo.

From September 18 to October 3, the joint dream of the artist (who died in May 2020) and his wife Jeanne-Claude will come true and the Arc de Triomphe, a 50-meter high monument, will be completely transformed into a gigantic gift package, held by 3,000 meters of red rope.

In 1985, Christo had already wrapped the Pont-Neuf, an iconic bridge over the Seine in Paris, in the same way, a place visited by hundreds of tourists a year and passed daily by thousands of local inhabitants.

This time, after weeks of preparation, a team of 95 rope experts deployed this Sunday from the top of the Arc de Triomphe the first roll of cloth, on the side facing Avenida de Wagram.

The packaging, which will require 25,000 m2 of fabric, will continue day and night to be ready on September 18, the opening day.

“Today is one of the most spectacular moments of the installation. The packaged Arc de Triomphe is beginning to come to life and is approaching the vision of what was the dream of a lifetime for Christo and Jeanne-Claude,” said Vladimir Yavachev , the artist’s nephew, who is supervising the project.

The cost of the project is 14 million euros (16.5 million dollars USD; 300 million pesos MXN), it is fully self-financed, without public subsidies, thanks to the sale of original works by Christo, preparatory drawings, souvenirs , models and lithographs.