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Christo Gets the Government’s Go Ahead for Latest Installation, ‘Over the River’

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Despite some hurdles along the way, including fights with environmental groups and lots of back and forth with the Department of the Interior, who were also concerned about its impact to nature, artist Christo has been given the go ahead for “Over the River” (pdf). The project, which he vowed to continue working to completion after the 2009 passing of his wife and collaborator Jeanne-Claude, will span nearly 6 miles across 42 miles of sections of the Arkansas River in Colorado, utilizing large suspended panels and coming in at an estimated cost of roughly $50 million. The NY Times reports that in judging whether or not to allow the artist to create the latest in his series of large, sweeping projects (with which both he and his wife were often quoted as saying that the bureaucratic wrangling to pull them off was as much a part of the art as the installations themselves), government officials seemed to lean toward the financial benefit of the project, in both tourism dollars and creating jobs to help put the whole thing together. Though the artist writes in a statement that there is still plenty of work do be done before everything is 100% approved, it appears that it will ultimately be realized. Here’s a bit:

“This is the most significant milestone yet in completing Over The River,” said Christo, “and we can now get to work applying for the few remaining permits that we still need. We are much closer to finally realizing this work of art that Jeanne-Claude and I first envisioned many years ago. Although our team is still reviewing the ROD, I am confident that we can now move forward so we begin construction in the summer of 2012.”

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