Christo Invites Public to Experience "The Gates"

Society | February 12, 2005, Saturday // 00:00
Christo Invites Public to Experience "The Gates" Park goers walk through the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude's art installation The Gates at Central Park in New York, Saturday. The installation will be in place from 12 February 2005 thru 27 February 2005. Photo by EPA/BTA

Bulgaria-born artist Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude, who began wrapping New York Central Park at the beginning of the year, unveiled on Saturday their USD 20 M art project.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg dropped the first piece of saffron-colored fabric among very tight security. He was joined by the creative couple, who walked through a media horde that came from around the world.

Some 300 monitors will be ready to answer questions during the 16 days when "The Gates" is open, with a total of 7,500 16-foot metal frames erected throughout the park at 15-foot intervals.

"The usual question is, what is it for?" Jeanne-Claude told a news conference on Friday. "And they will know to answer, 'Oh, absolutely nothing, it is only a work of art."'

Talking about it is not the point, Christo said.

"You need to spend time walking, you have cold air, sunny day, rainy day, even snow ... Spend time experiencing the project," he said.

The full title of the project - "The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005" - refers to the 26 years during which the project was in the making.

Both Christo and Jeanne-Claude was born on June 13, 1935, he in Bulgaria, she in Morocco. They have lived for 41 years in New York.

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