Over The River is a two-week temporary work of art by the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The project’s plans call for 5.9 miles of silvery, luminous fabric panels to be suspended high above the Arkansas River along a 42-mile stretch of the river between Salida and Cañon City in south-central Colorado. Fabric panels will be suspended at eight distinct areas of the river that were selected by the artists for their aesthetic merits and technical viability.
Following nearly three years of analysis, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued its Over The River Record of Decision (ROD) on November 7, 2011. The ROD completed the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) permitting process and gave Federal approval to the artists’ original vision for this proposed temporary work of art. On March 27, 2012, the Fremont County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the Temporary Use Permit for Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Over The River.
In July 2012, Christo announced that due to pending litigation, he will temporarily postpone the Over The River installation schedule. Christo will identify the exhibition date and secure the few remaining permits when the legal process is successfully resolved. Over The River will be exhibited for two consecutive weeks during a future August.
On September 5, 2013, the Colorado District Court ruled in favor of the Colorado State Parks agreement allowing Christo to use portions of the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area for Over The River. An earlier administrative appeal was resolved on June 28, 2013, when the Interior Board of Land Appeals upheld the BLM’s approval to use federal lands for Over The River.
It is important to note that the pending legal actions are directed against State Parks or the BLM. Both agencies have approved Over The River and authorized the project to move forward. Over The River activities not related to physical construction, such as continuation of the bighorn sheep habitat treatment program are ongoing.
Through the sale of his original works of art, Christo funds 100-percent of costs associated with the permitting process, manufacturing, installation and removal of Over The River. This includes all direct expenses to create the temporary work of art, as well as costs that result from it (e.g. environmental analysis, traffic control, trash removal and sanitation). The temporary work of art will be created without public subsidy or taxpayer support, because Christo and Jeanne-Claude have never accepted viewing fees, sponsorships or outside investments of any kind.
Over The River will enhance Colorado’s growing prominence in the art world and provide a gift that all Coloradans can enjoy.
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