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'A big gray elephant': Paris' Arc de Triomphe is wrapped up

France Arc de Triomphe
France Arc de Triomphe
Posted at 11:23 PM, Sep 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-18 23:23:33-04

PARIS — The city of Paris is unveiling a monumental artwork built around an actual monument: the Arc de Triomphe completely wrapped in silver and blue fabric.

The installation by late artist couple Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who conceived of the project in 1961, will open Saturday. Visits will take place for nearly three weeks.

At weekends, the Arc de Triomphe’s traffic-heavy roundabout will be entirely pedestrianized.

Visitors to the famous Napoleonic arch, which dominates the Champs-Elysees Avenue, will not only be able to see the gleaming fabric, but also touch it — as the artists had intended.

Those climbing the 50 meters (164 feet) to the top — will step on the fabric when they reach the roof terrace.