Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Pont Neuf Wrapped, 1975-85. Woven polyamide fabric.

Begun under Henri III, the Pont-Neuf was completed in July 1606, during the reign of Henry IV. No other bridge in Paris offers such topographical and visual variety, today as in the past. From 1578 to 1890, the Pont-Neuf underwent continual changes and additions of the most extravagant sort, such as the construction of shops on the bridge under Soufflot, the building, demolition, rebuilding and once again demolition of the massive rococo structure which housed the Samaritaine’s water pump.

Wrapping the Pont-Neuf continued this tradition of successive metamorphoses by a new sculptural dimension and transformed it, for 14 days, into a work of art. Ropes held down the fabric to the bridge’s surface and maintained the principal shapes, accentuating relief while emphasizing proportions and details of the Pont-Neuf, which has joined the left and right banks and the Île de la Cité, the heart of Paris, for over 400 years.