Work for the temporary transformation of the Arc de Triomphestarted on Friday, July 16. For 16 days, the iconic monument will be wrapped in 25,000 square metres of recyclable bluish-silver fabric and 3,000 metres of red rope as a posthumous realisation of the artwork of the Bulgarian artist Christo, who died in 2020.
The project, supported by the Centre Pompidou and approved by the City of Paris and the Elysée Palace, will be inaugurated on 18 September and last until October 3.
"As soon as the commemorations of 14 July are over, the construction site will settle in smoothly until 18 July, when the Tour de France arrives. It is only after that that it will be in full swing, under time constraints. Three teams will be working round the clock to complete it," Christo's nephew, Vladimir Javacheff, told the news agency AFP.
"As for the dismantling, it will have to be done in six days", before the 11 November commemoration, he added.
From 20 July, a metal vault will be installed under the main arch, before the protective cages for the large sculpted groups are assembled.
The ropes and canvases will be delivered at the end of August and the installation will take place the week before the opening on 18 September.
The project is financed by Vladimir Javacheff's Foundation, thanks to the sale of Christo's works that includes collages, preparatory drawings, models and lithographs.
Christo, who died last year in New York at the age of 84, had been working on this project for decades. He had dreamt to create "The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped", which will be accomplished 36 years after the successful wrapping of the Pont-Neuf.
According to the Centre des monuments nationaux, the Eternal Flame, in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe, will continue to burn throughout the preparation and display of the artwork.
- with AFP