The Pont Neuf Wrapped

Paris
1975-85

On September 22, 1985, a group of 300 professional workers completed the temporary work of art The Pont Neuf Wrapped. They had deployed 450,000 square feet (41,800 square meters) of woven polyamide fabric, silky in appearance and golden sandstone in color, covering:

  • The sides and vaults of the twelve arches, without hindering river traffic.
  • The parapets down to the ground.
  • The sidewalks and curbs (pedestrians walked on the fabric).
  • All the street lamps on both sides of the bridge.
  • The vertical part of the embankment of the western tip of the Île de la Cité.
  • The Esplanade of the Vert-Galant.

The fabric was restrained by 8 miles (13 kilometers) of rope and secured by 12.1 tons of steel chains encircling the base of each tower, 3.3 feet (1 meter) underwater.

The Charpentiers de Paris headed by Gérard Moulin, with French sub-contractors, were assisted by the USA engineers who had worked on Christo and Jeanne-Claude's previous projects, under the direction of Theodore Dougherty: Vahé Aprahamian, August L. Huber, James Fuller, John Thomson and Dimiter Zagoroff. Johannes Schaub, the project's director had submitted the work method and detailed plans and received approval for the project from the authorities of the City of Paris, the Department of the Seine and the State. 600 monitors, in crews of 40, led by Simon Chaput, were working around the clock maintaining the project and giving information, until the removal of the project on October 7.

All expenses for The Pont Neuf Wrapped were borne by the artists as in their other projects through the sale of preparatory drawings and collages as well as earlier works. The artists do not accept sponsorship of any kind.

Begun under Henri III, the Pont-Neuf was completed in July 1606, during the reign of Henry IV. No other bridge in Paris offers such topographical and visual variety, today as in the past. From 1578 to 1890, the Pont-Neuf underwent continual changes and additions of the most extravagant sort, such as the construction of shops on the bridge under Soufflot, the building, demolition, rebuilding and once again demolition of the massive rococo structure which housed the Samaritaine's water pump.

Wrapping the Pont-Neuf continued this tradition of successive metamorphoses by a new sculptural dimension and transformed it, for 14 days, into a work of art. Ropes held down the fabric to the bridge's surface and maintained the principal shapes, accentuating relief while emphasizing proportions and details of the Pont-Neuf, which has joined the left and right banks and the Île de la Cité, the heart of Paris, for over 400 years.

The Pont Neuf Wrapped (Project for Pont Neuf - Paris; Quai des Grandes Augustins, Quai du Louvre, Quai de la Megisserie and Quai de Conti)
Christo
The Pont Neuf Wrapped (Project for Pont Neuf - Paris; Quai des Grandes Augustins, Quai du Louvre, Quai de la Megisserie and Quai de Conti)
Collage 1976
22 x 28" (56 x 71 cm)
Pencil, fabric, twine, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, wax crayon, pastel, charcoal and map
Collection Montrasio Arte, Monza, Italy
Photo: André Grossmann
© 1976 Christo
The Pont Neuf, Wrapped (Project for Paris)
Christo
The Pont Neuf, Wrapped (Project for Paris)
Collage 1980 in two parts
11 x 28" and 22 x 28" (28 x 71 cm and 56 x 71 cm)
Pencil, fabric, twine, pastel, wax crayon and map
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1980 Christo
Ref. # 1 CY, 2 CU
The Pont Neuf, Wrapped (Project for Paris)
Christo
The Pont Neuf, Wrapped (Project for Paris)
Collage 1984
11 x 14" (28 x 35.5 cm)
Pencil, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, wax crayon and tape
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1984 Christo
The Pont Neuf, Wrapped (Project for Paris)
Christo
The Pont Neuf, Wrapped (Project for Paris)
Collage 1985
11 x 14" (28 x 35.5 cm)
Pencil, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, wax crayon and tape
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1985 Christo
The Pont Neuf, Wrapped (Project for Paris)
Christo
The Pont Neuf, Wrapped (Project for Paris)
Collage 1985 in two parts
11 x 28" and 22 x 28" (28 x 71 cm and 56 x 71 cm)
Pencil, fabric, twine, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon and technical data
Photo: Eeva-Inkeri
© 1985 Christo
The Pont Neuf Wrapped (Project for Paris)
Christo
The Pont Neuf Wrapped (Project for Paris)
Drawing 1985 in two parts
15 x 65" and 42 x 65" (38 x 165 cm and 106.6 x 165 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, map and fabric sample
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1985 Christo
Ref. # 50
The Pont Neuf, Wrapped (Project for Paris)
Christo
The Pont Neuf, Wrapped (Project for Paris)
Drawing 1985 in two parts
15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, pastel, fabric sample, aerial photograph and technical data
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1985 Christo
Ref. # 54
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1985 Christo
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1985 Christo
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1985 Christo
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1985 Christo
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1985 Christo
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1985 Christo
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1985 Christo
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1985 Christo