Feds Approve Christo's 'Over The River' Art Project

Christo To Suspend Fabric Over 5.9 Miles Of Arkansas River

The Bureau of Land Management has approved plans to drape several miles of the Arkansas River with fabric.

The artist Christo calls the project "Over The River."

Christo plans to use a system of anchors, frames and cables to suspend 5.9 miles of fabric across eight spots along a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River. The construction is anticipated to begin in 2012, culminating in a two-week display in August 2014.

"After careful consideration of the potential impact to the Arkansas River and the wildlife and plants that inhabit this beautiful area, we believe that steps have been taken to mitigate the environmental effects of this one-of-a-kind project," said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. "Drawing visitors to Colorado to see this work will support jobs in the tourism industry and bring attention to the tremendous outdoor recreation opportunities in this area."

Over The River is estimated to generate $121 million in economic output and draw 400,000 visitors during construction and display.

The art project is expected to cost $50 million. The project will be paid for by Christo, through the sale of his drawings, collages, scale models, lithographs and early works from the 1950s and 1960s. Christo's website site said there would be no sponsor and the materials would be recycled.

Christo will be required to put several mitigation measures into place for bighorn sheep, anglers, drivers, boaters and birds. Read about the mitigation measures.

"We applaud Christo and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, for their perseverance to create this wonderful artwork in the Arkansas River Valley," said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. "Over The River will bring tremendous cultural and economic benefits to Colorado and Coloradans and valuable exposure to our state’s natural beauty."

Christo first proposed the project 13 years ago.

Read more about the project on Christo's website.

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