The One-Question Interview: Christo

Why has the artist's latest project taken two decades to come to completion?

Jun 15, 2012
Outside Magazine
Over The River, Christo

Jeanne-Claude and Christo at the site for their proposed temporary artwork Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, in 1996.    Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Over the River and Nearly Through the Woods

Read Outside's update on the project from fall 2011.

It has been 20 years and $6 million in the making, but the artist Christo says his Over the River project—to hang six miles of fabric above the Arkansas in Colorado—will finally happen in August 2015.

Christo, what’s taking so long?
Government permitting
. First, Bruce Babbitt, Clinton’s interior secretary, and 700 of his employees quizzed me on how it will affect wildlife, garbage, the economy.... Then it was Gale Norton—she was tough—and now it’s Obama’s people. I’ve gone through 3,715 pages of applications and probably have three more years of permitting to wade through before I hang a single bolt of silver cloth. But that’s just how these things go.