In 1961, three years after they met in Paris, Christo and Jeanne-Claude began creating works of art in public spaces. One of their projects was to wrap a public building. When he arrived in Paris, Christo rented a small room near the Arc de Triomphe and had been attracted by the monument ever since. In 1962, he made a photomontage of the Arc de Triomphe wrapped, seen from the Avenue Foch and, in 1988, a collage. 60 years later, the project was finally concretized.
image © Diana Iskander
L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped was entirely funded by the Estate of Christo V. Javacheff, through the sale of Christo's preparatory studies, drawings, and collages of the project as well as scale models, works from the 1950s and 1960s, and original lithographs on other subjects. It received no public funds.
The Centre des Monuments Nationaux, the government institution that manages the Arc de Triomphe, was pleased about the realization of a project that demonstrated its commitment to contemporary creation and that honored one of the most emblematic monuments in Paris and in France.
The Eternal Flame, in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe, continued to burn throughout the installation, display, and dismantling of the artwork. As always, veterans' associations and volunteers committed to the values of the French Republic ensured the continuity of remembrance and the daily ceremony of rekindling the flame that pays homage to the Unknown Soldier and those who lost their lives fighting for France.
Per Christo's wishes, L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped was completed by his team after his death.