Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Controversial ‘Over The River’ Project Approved

Photo: Wolfgang Volz / © 1999 Christo

Despite many opposing residents, Fremont County Board of Commissioners has unanimously agreed to approve the Temporary Use Permit for Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Over The River. This will allow the world famous artist to temporarily suspend 5.9 miles of silvery, luminous fabric panels high above the Arkansas River, along a 42-mile stretch between Salida and Cañon City in south-central . After remaining on the drawing boards for 20 years, the Over The River installation plans to begin in early 2014 with an exhibition planned for August 2015.

“The Fremont County permit is essential to realizing this temporary work of art that Jeanne-Claude and I first envisioned nearly 20 years ago,” said Christo. “I am very pleased that the Commissioners have voted to approve this public work of art for Fremont County, and I want to thank them for their hard work and efforts in evaluating our application. I am glad to be moving forward with our plans to complete Over The River.”

The self-funded project has been a heated topic amongst Colorado residents, with many concerned that the installation will disrupt the pristine landscape and cause dangerous traffic within the winding canyon. This concern was carefully examined, as the Board of Commissioners and County staff solicited extensive public comment and considered the Bureau of Land Management’s widespread analysis of the project, as well as the nearly 200 mitigation measures addressing community and environmental concerns, in hopes that all actions will be taken to reduce any risk of the project.

Additionally, Over The River will significantly increase international tourism in the area and is expected to generate $583,000 in additional sales tax revenues within the Fremont and Chaffee Counties alone.

See more images and learn more aboutOver The River here on ArchDaily.

Reference: Over The River

Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Controversial ‘Over The River’ Project Approved" 15 Apr 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
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  • Zack

    This is like adding eye shadow to the Mona Lisa. The Arkansas river doesn’t need Christo’s petty adornments. It’s truly a shame that the county has decided to indulge this guy’s ego at the expense of everyone else that enjoys the river for what it is. I heard about this years ago and thought it would never fly, I’m so dissapointed.

  • Gearloose

    Based on every poll that I’ve seen, it’s not just “many residents” who oppose this fiasco, it’s the overwhelming majority of Coloradans who oppose it. A recent poll in the Canon City Daily Record showed 2:1 against. Previous polls in the Colorado Springs Gazette also had the same 2:1 result.