DENVER -- After 20 years of planning, the artist Christo has canceled plans for a large art installation in Colorado.
The Over The River project would have draped 5.9 miles of fabric over a 42-mile stretch of the river between Salida and Canon City.
The project was going to take two years to install and would have been on display for two weeks.
But Wednesday, Christo's team sent out a statement from Christo that said:
"After pursuing Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, for 20 years and going through 5 years of legal arguments, I no longer wish to wait on the outcome.
I have decided to devote all of my energy, time and resources into the realization of The Mastaba, Project for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, which Jeanne-Claude and I conceived 40 years ago.
I have been fortunate to work with many dedicated Colorado residents as well as Federal and State agencies who have been a part of Over The River. I am grateful to everyone who was part of this journey."
The opposition group, Rags Over the Arkansas River, or ROAR, filed several legal challenges over the years. One is still pending with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. ROAR said the project would be too disruptive to bighorn sheep in the area, local traffic, and fishing and river rafting businesses.
Christo was going to be required to put several mitigation measures into place for bighorn sheep, anglers, drivers, boaters and birds.
Christo had planned to pay for the $50 million project through the sale of his drawings, collages, scale models, lithographs and early works from the 1950s and 1960s.