July 31st, 2012

Christo informs supporters of temporary delay of OTR exhibition

Recent news may have reminded you that legal challenges have been filed against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for its November, 2011 Record of Decision and against Colorado State Parks for its 2011 Agreement with OTR. Both agencies approved Christo and Jeanne-Claude's vision for Over The River and authorized the project to move forward. However, a federal court order a few weeks ago to delay the lawsuit against BLM is further indication it will be some time before these challenges are resolved.

This is a pivotal moment for Over The River. Many years of successfully securing permits are drawing to a close and Christo is preparing for installation. The transition to the next phase requires significant investment in materials and equipment to begin installation work in the canyon. Under the current schedule, anchor installation activities would be slated to get underway in just a few months.

Christo recently met in Cañon City with a group of local supporters to inform them that he must work through this legal process. While Christo remains confident that the legal challenges will not succeed, it would be unwise to order materials and begin installing the project before the lawsuits are successfully resolved.

Christo remains committed to realizing Over The River, despite this situation which is not unusual for his temporary works of art. He and Jeanne-Claude have faced similar challenges before the realization of previous works. It is unclear how the pending litigation will affect the project schedule, but Christo will continue to work on several aspects of Over The River as the legal process proceeds, including the bighorn sheep treatment program and the completion of the installation Event Management Plan.

As Christo said in Cañon City, "I am fully committed to Over The River just as Jeanne-Claude and I have always envisioned it and I look forward to having these legal hurdles behind us so we can realize this temporary work of art in Colorado's Arkansas River Valley."