breathing new life into L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped materials
This month marks two years since the launch of duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s monumental public artwork, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (1961–2021), unveiled on September 18, 2021, to the amazement of Parisians and visitors from around the world. During its 16-day lifespanSix million people saw the work and over half a billion others experienced it via media, adding to the glow of Paris post-pandemic. The project, made possible by a team of dedicated individuals under the direction and leadership of Vladimir Yavachev is currently in its final stage of being repurposed with the collaboration of the global environmental organization Parley for the Oceans. The team will then convert the fabric and ropes into shade structures, tents, and barnums for Paris’ upcoming events, namely the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. ‘This is a very fine example of the art world’s ability to adapt to climate challenges,’ notes Yavachev.
Image by Wolfgang VolzAll (c) Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation| all © Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation
Parley for Oceans has provided the video at the top of this page.
the story behind Christo and jeanne claude’s paris installation
This installation was created in 1961, three year after Christo and Jeanne-Claude met. At the time, Christo and Jeanne-Claude were still together. duo They began to create works of art for public spaces. One of the projects they worked on was wrapping a public structure. At the time, Christo, renting a small room near L’Arc de Triomphe, made several studies of a project there, including 1962, a photomontage of the concept. The project was completed almost 60 years after Christo’s initial studies.
Throughout the entire period when the artwork was on display, as well as during its preparation, the space beneath — where the holy flagstone lies and where since 1923 the eternal flame has burned in front of the tomb of the unknown soldier — was fully maintained. The associations, charities, and volunteers who are committed to the French Republic’s values will continue to take turns in ensuring the continuity of souvenirs, memory, and the daily ceremony to rekindle the flame and pay homage to unknown soldier.
Image by Benjamin Loyseau, 2021
Parley for the Oceans will upcycle the polypropylene into tents
As done for past projects by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, all materials used to create L’Arc de Triomphe Wrapped are being reused, upcycled. recycled. Les Charpentiers de Paris, ArcelorMittal, and Derichebourg Environnement have already reused the wood and steel comprising the installation’s substructures. Parley for Oceans has processed 25,000 square metres of silvery-blue polypropylene and 3,000 meters red polypropylene. hereNow that the materials have been selected, they are moving on to the next phase of design and production.
‘The artwork, the ropes and the fabric are all a testament to the superpower that we possess as humans: imagination. We will build tent structures designed to protect humans from dangerous heat waves. […] I know for certain, we can work together to create a new, sustainable economy, where toxic, exploitative, and harmful business practices will be a distant memory.,’ Cyrill Gutsch Founder and CEO Parley for the Oceans concludes.
Wolfgang Volz, image from 2021
recycling of the ropes used for L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped | Image courtesy Courtesy of Parley for Oceans
image courtesy Courtesy Parley for the Oceans