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Over The River Essay

1337 words - 6 pages

Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon are the married couple who make up the artistic duo known world-wide as Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Both born on June 13, 1935, he in Bulgaria and she in France, the couple met in Paris in 1958 when Jeanne-Claude's mother hired Christo to paint a portrait. Although Jeanne-Claude was engaged to another man, whom she eventually married, Jeanne-Claude still fell in love with Christo. She left her husband after 3 weeks of marriage to be with Christo. In 1960, the couple had a son, Cyril Christo. From then on, the couple were virtually inseparable. The only time they left one another's side was when flying so that, should ...view middle of the document...

The couple's plan, to drape silver-toned sheer cloth across the river, from one bank to the other, would cover a total of 5.9 miles of river in between Canon, Colorado and Salida, Colorado. Instead of covering the river continuously for almost 6 miles, the display would be intermittent over the 42 mile section of the river, allowing for the contrast of the landscape against the exhibit. Each section of fabric would be anchored down with steel cables. Being held only by steel cable, the fabric panels will be able to move and billow in the wind, giving a feeling of movement. As with all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's exhibits, "Over The River", too, is to be temporary and will only be up for a two week period of time.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude pay for all their projects themselves. There is no financial burden on the taxpayer; the duo covers all costs including such details as permits and land analysis by the Bureau of Land Management. Since the couple fund the project themselves in its entirety, all profits stemming from the work benefit the state and local towns. The projected economic revenue for "Over The River" is estimated at over $121 million. This includes local and state tax revenue, revenue from tourists for local businesses, as well as the estimated 620 temporary jobs that will be created - Christo is adamant about hiring locals to complete work whenever possible.
Despite the numerous economic benefits as well as the esteem of having a unique artwork created by world-renowned artists, there are those who are in opposition to "Over The River". A group called "R.O.A.R. - Rags Over the Arkansas River" leads the fight against the project. They are concerned how the display will affect wildlife; will birds and beasts, particularly Big Horn Sheep, be able to access the river for water and food? Since the fabric panels must be anchored to the earth using steel cables, they are apprehensive as to how the construction for a temporary project will affect the environment. There is also the very real concern of litter and other waste that will accrue due to tourists who do not behave responsibly. There is the worry of whether the local towns emergency services are prepared and able to handle the influx of tourists expected. The issue that seems to top their concerns, however, is how the locals will be impacted not only during the two week display, but while the exhibit is being constructed and taken down. Since it the project is being built along the tow-lane road of US 50, any lane closures or accidents caused by the exhibit, can easily close down the road, cutting inhabitants off from work, food, water, and medical care.
The Bureau of Land Management took all the concerns of residents when reviewing the project and deciding...

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