13/05/2020 – Wrapping project in textiles — auf Deutsch lesen

Christo’s last project

Partly because of the coronavirus pandemic, Christo’s undertaking will not be realised until 2021.


L’Arc de Triomphe empaqué – Christo’s last project: Some of the 40 lengths have an area of up to 625 square metres and are more than 50 metres long. © Pia Woicke


This autumn, Christo was planning to use his incomparable art to divert streams of tourists to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, an important symbol for the French. However, it will now be another year before it is wrapped in heavy fabrics – not only because of the corona pandemic.

Now scheduled for 18 September to 3 October

The project was first planned by the artist and his wife Jeanne-Claude, as long as 60 years ago. Its official title: L’Arc de Triomphe Wrapped. The couple, who once lived in Paris, first made it into the capital’s history books 35 years ago with “Le Pont-Neuf Wrapped”. This project involved wrapping the famous bridge and its twelve mediaeval arches spanning the River Seine in a golden yellow fabric.

Logistical implications

Offering expertise in textiles, Robert Meyknecht and his company geo – Die Luftwerker have been the artist’s partner for many years. For Meyknecht and his team the project delay has several, mostly logistical implications. “Although we no longer have the pressure of a looming deadline, we still have to find somewhere to store the 20-tonne panels.” Without temporary storage, the huge volume of fabric would block Die Luftwerker’s production and warehousing capacity for months.

In the meantime, a solution has been found for how the fabric is stored: Speaking from experience, the company head appreciates that the fabric must not be creased but carefully rolled up. It is mostly down to the sewing skills of the seamstresses and the firm’s logistical flexibility in dealing with many thousands of square metres of fabric, that Christo is having his project sewn in Lübeck – for the third time in a row.

Christo dies at 84

On 31 May, Christo passed away at his home in New York City, aged 84. The wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe will, therefore, be his final major project. According to reports from his office, the installation will still take place from 18 September to 3 October 2021. The world-famous artist would have celebrated his 85th birthday on 13 June 2020. His wife Jeanne-Claude, with whom he created many art installations, died back in 2009. The Centre Pompidou in Paris described Christo as a “magician”, who made an important contribution to contemporary art. An exhibition about Christo and Jeanne-Claude was due to open at the Centre Pompidou in March but was postponed due to the coronavirus. It will now run from 1 July.