Artist to Cover Italian Lake in Gold Fabric

‘Floating Piers’ will allow visitors to walk on water

May 5, 2015
Outside Magazine
Artist to Cover Italian Lake in Gold Fabric

Christo plans to connect Italy's Lake Iseo with a pier on which visitors can walk.    Jon Shave/Flickr

Conceptual artist Christo has unveiled plans to envelope Lake Iseo, a freshwater lake in Italy’s Lombardy region, in more than 750,000 square feet of yellow fabric, according to a recent press release. The Floating Piers will involve a modular floating dock system of 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes to support the fabric, creating a two-mile walkway from the town of Sulzano to the island of Monte Isola and around the island of San Paolo.

“It will be like walking on water,” Christo said during a press conference at the Maxxi Auditorium in Rome, according to the ANSA news agency

The Floating Piers, which may bear some resemblance to his large-scale covered-in-cloth project Surrounded Islands (1983), is Christo’s first major project since The Gates (2005), in which he and his late partner Jeanne-Claude filled New York City’s Central Park with a series of orange-draped archways. Though Christo has raised $10 million for this project, it’s unclear how much it will ultimately cost to bring to fruition.

The announcement comes a few months after Christo enjoyed a major victory with another large-scale land sculpture. In January, a federal judge deferred to an approving decision by the Bureau of Land Management to allow Christo to build Over the River, which would involve installing a series of luminous silvery panels along a 42-mile stretch above the Arkansas River, according to the Pueblo Chieftan. As Outside reported in 2012, Over the River was subject to an uncommonly long process of obtaining government approval, in addition to protests from nearby community residents who believed Over the River would be detrimental to the environment.