Paris, Sep 16 (EFE).- The nephew of late artist Christo, Vladimir Javacheff, presented the Arc de Triomphe in Paris wrapped in recyclable metallic grey fabric, in honor of his uncle who died aged 84 last year.
“I hope he is satisfied with the work we have done and that he smiles upon us from wherever he is,” Javacheff said during a press conference ahead of the inauguration ceremony, which will be attended by French President Emmanuel Macron.
“He had everything prepared, every detail and visual aspect. We have only followed his instructions,” he added
The Arc de Triomphe, which will officially open to the public from September 18 to October 3, has been covered with 25,000 square meters of recyclable polypropylene, with 3,000 meters of red rope.
“It is totally aesthetic. We were looking for a shiny structure. And this fabric, with its blue lining, gives a glow that is barely visible,” Javacheff explained.
The choice of fabric has been marred with controversy as Christo’s friend architect Carlo Ratti wrote Saturday in French daily Le Monde that it was not right to wrap the monument for environmental reasons, saying the fashion industry accounts for 10% of the annual global carbon emissions.
“I think Christo and Jeanne-Claude (his wife and partner, who died in 2009) were great artists and pioneers. They had a vision,” Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, said, defending the artwork.
The Bulgarian-born artist, whose full name was Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, died last year shortly after the French authorities granted the final permits for the project, leaving the mission to his nephew, with whom he worked for 31 years. EFE