Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Over the River"

They've got trouble right here along the banks of the Arkansas River.

It all has to do with the artist Christo, whose lavish and iconoclastic installations invariably create controversy wherever unfurled. And in this postcard-pretty corner of Colorado, about 115 miles south of Denver, renowned for fly fishing, whitewater rafting and the vertigo-inducing Royal Gorge suspension bridge, it is no different.

For 18 years the artist has had his sights on a stretch of river that runs through Big Horn Sheep Canyon between Canon City and Salida for a project he calls "Over the River." The proposed installation would suspend translucent panels of fabric over 5.9 miles of the river in staggered intervals, visible from U.S. Highway 50 and by rafters floating underneath.

It would be the latest installation by the man who wrapped Berlin's Reichstag building in fabric and erected 1,760 giant yellow umbrellas in California's Tejon Pass.

If approved, "Over the River" would open in summer 2014 for two weeks. It would take two years to build and cost at least $50 million (Christo says he is already in for $7 million). The Bureau of Land Management is expected to decide the project's fate in the spring.

No comments: