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Judge Approves Christo's Controversial Arkansas River Installation

The Bureau of Land Management has greenlit Christo's $50 million 'Over the River' proposal, a work 20 years in the making,

by Becky Chung
07 January 2015, 7:00pm

Christo, Over the River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado) Collage 2007.17 x 22" (43.2 x 55.9 cm). Pencil, enamel paint, wax crayon, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, aerial photograph with topographic elevations, fabric sample and tape. Photo: André Grossmann. © 2007 Christo. Images via

Visionary art duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude's proposal to cloak 5.9 miles of the Arkansas River in a continuous silvery fabric may finally become a reality. Two years ago, the proposed $50 million project, Over The River, stirred controversy when environmental students at Denver University sued to block the work, concerned that the drilling of 9,100 holes in the ground would severely impact the region's natural ecosystem. Earlier this week, a judge of the federal district court gave the project the go-ahead, according to the Southern Colorado’s local paper, The Pueblo Chieftain.

“I was always confident the court would uphold the BLM’s actions because the Environmental Impact Statement conducted by the BLM was thorough and comprehensive,” Christo said in a statement. “We have one appeal in state court still outstanding, but today we took a significant step forward in realizing Over The River.” Once this last hurdle is past, Christo and his team will begin an intense 27-month-long process of preparing, constructing, and installing the work.

Over The River was first conceived in 1992, 17 years before Jeanne-Claude's passing in 2009. Below, check out how the project evolved over the years:

Christo, Over the River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado). Drawing 2010 in two parts 15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm). Pencil, pastel, charcoal, wax crayon, enamel paint, wash, fabric sample, hand-drawn topographic map and technical data. Photo: André Grossmann. © 2010 Christo. Ref. # 78. 

Christo, The River (Project) Drawing 1992. 11 x 14" (28 x 35.5 cm). Pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, ballpoint pen and cardboard. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA. Photo: André Grossmann. © 1992 Christo 

Christo, Jeanne-Claude and their team at work in the Arkansas River valley, Colorado, August 2000. Photo: Wolfgang Volz © 2000 Christo 

Christo, Over the River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado). Drawing 2011 in two parts. 15 x 65" and 42 x 65" (38 x 165 cm and 106.6 x 165 cm). Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, enamel paint, aerial photograph with topographic elevations and fabric sample. Photo: André Grossmann. © 2011 Christo. Ref. # 35

Christo, Over the River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado). Drawing 2013 in two parts. 15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm). Pencil, pastel, charcoal, wax crayon, enamel paint, fabric sample and aerial photographs with topographic elevations. Photo: André Grossmann. © 2013 Christo. Ref. # 39

See more of Christo and Jeanne Claude's monumental work here.

H/t Designboom

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COLORADO
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Over the River
christo & jeanne claude
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arkansas river
Jeanne-Claude
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