Wrapped Roman Wall

Rome, 1973–74


In February and March 1974, for a period of 40 days, a 820-foot-long section of the Aurelian Walls was wrapped in polypropylene and rope, covering both sides, the top and the arches of the wall. Forty construction workers completed the temporary work of art in four days.

 The nearly 2,000-year-old wall was built by the Roman Emperors Aurelian and Probus and used to surround the City of Rome, Italy. The section selected by the artists for their temporary work of art was situated at the end of the Via Veneto, one of the busiest avenues of Rome, and at the edge of the gardens of the Villa Borghese.

The project was coordinated by longtime friend Guido Le Noci, owner of the Galleria Apollinaire, who had given Christo two personal exhibitions in 1963.

 Out of the four arches that were wrapped, three arches were heavily used by car traffic and one arch was reserved for pedestrians.

 The Wrapped Roman Wall was financed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude through the sale of preparatory studies made by Christo: drawings, collages, scale models, as well as early packages and lithographs. The artists do not accept sponsorship of any kind.

 After 40 days the workers started the removal and all materials were recycled.