Christo Scraps Project He's Spent $15M on to Protest Trump

Artist had planned to drape 6 miles of fabric over Arkansas River
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2017 8:17 AM CST

(Newser) Shia LaBeouf isn't the only artist protesting President Trump—but in Christo's case, it's the lack of art that will do the talking. The artist famous for installing 7,503 orange "gates" at Central Park in 2005 had planned for some 20 years to drape 1,000 silver fabric panels over 42 miles of the Arkansas River in Colorado using steel cables fixed to the banks at a cost of $50 million. But now he says he'll do no such thing, despite spending $15 million of his own money on the Over the River project, because the land is federally owned and therefore under Trump's control. "I can't do a project that benefits this landlord," the 81-year-old tells the New York Times, adding the "pleasure" he took in the project has gone with Trump's election.

After various court wins, a single federal lawsuit was all that stood in Christo's way, with opponents worried about the project's effect on wildlife, reports the Denver Post. But Christo says one more legal victory won't change his mind. "I am not excited about the project anymore," he says. Over the River, conceived in 1992 with his late wife Jeanne-Claude, would've been Christo's largest ever artwork in the US, to be installed over two years and on display for only two weeks. Instead, its absence will be "a decisive statement," per the Atlantic, that after years of fighting for governments to approve his projects, "reaching across the aisle, in a sense, and finding common ground," Christo believes "that common ground no longer exists." It was the final project he and his wife had planned for the US. (Speaking of LaBeouf, he was arrested outside his own protest.)

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