Parley for Recycling: Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s L’Arc de Triomphe Wrapped

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Recycling L’Arc de Triomphe Wrapped: Paris’s iconic monument, wrapped by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude in their final work, will be repurposed by Parley for the Oceans. The materials used to drape the monument will be transformed into tents and sun shades for the 2024 Olympics and other events in the city. The silvery fabric, covering 25,000 square meters, was secured with 7,000 meters of red rope, both made of woven polypropylene and intended for recycling. The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation, in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, is overseeing the processing and design phases of the project.

Paris Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, confirmed that the tents and shade structures crafted from the recycled materials will be utilized during major events, including the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games hosted by the city. Vladimir Yavachev, the L’Arc de Triomphe Wrapped project director, highlighted the commitment of Christo and Jeanne-Claude to reuse and recycle materials in their projects. He believes recycling this artwork in Paris, a city that greatly influenced the artists, is a fitting tribute.

Cyrill Gutsch, founder and CEO of Parley for the Oceans, expressed the significance of giving a second life to an installation he regarded as “a flag of rebellion” and proof that seemingly impossible ideas can come to fruition. Gutsch emphasized the power of human imagination demonstrated by the ropes and fabric used in the artwork. The recycled materials will be transformed into tent structures designed to protect against heat waves, inspiring individuals to tackle the challenges ahead.

The wood and steel comprising the substructure of L’Arc de Triomphe Wrapped have already been repurposed by Les Charpentiers de Paris, ArcelorMittal, and Derichebourg Environnement.

L’Arc de Triomphe Wrapped is a posthumous project envisioned by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1961. Christo passed away in 2020, and Jean-Claude in 2009, but their foundation considers all of their public projects and indoor installations as collaborative works. The artwork was originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After Christo’s passing, the project was completed by his team in partnership with the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, Centre Pompidou, and the City of Paris.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude are renowned for their large-scale artworks that involve wrapping famous buildings and landscapes. While some critics have raised concerns about waste and environmental impact, the artists’ foundation maintains that they recycled most materials and left sites in their original or enhanced state.

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