“Floating Piers” is now available on eBay
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From June 18th to July 3rd Christo Vladimirov Javacheff’s installation“Floating Piers” transformed Iseo Lake in northern Italy. The artist, best known for the “Gates” installation he created in New York City in 2005, spent nearly three decades planning this project with his late wife, Jeanne-Claude. It was a spectacular sight during its sixteen day run and drew tourists from around the world. The “Floating Piers” were composed of 220,000 polyethylene cubes covered in bright yellow fabric, which took on the orange hue characteristic of Christo’s work because of its exposure to the sun and water. The project covered 3 kilometers of the lake as well as 2.5 kilometers of the streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio, the towns overlooking Lake Iseo. These walkways, which only rose 35 centimeters out of the water, gave the impression of walking on water to those who experienced them.
Christo and his team announced that the components of the installation would be removed and recycled as soon as the “Floating Piers” closed. The artist’s intention was to leave the sight in the pristine condition in which he found it, as if the art piece had never been there. Some who visited “Floating Piers” took it upon themselves to help with some premature dismantling of the installation. Already, pieces of “Floating Piers” can be found for sale across the internet.
Apparently, visitors removed small pieces of fabric from the floating cubes and have been selling them on sights like eBay, along with the official socks given to visitors to walk on the piers, for upward of $1000. It is unfortunate that people feel the need to destroy a beautiful work of art for their own personal gain, especially since this completely goes against the spirit of Christo’s work. All of his instillations are free and open to the public so anyone can experience his incredible work. It is meant to be enjoyed and respected in the moment, not immortalized as stolen souvenirs.