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Legal wrangling over Christo’s river project rages on

The artist and federal land managers have asked a judge to dismiss another lawsuit attempting to halt his work in Colorado, but he says it’s all part of the process

Christo, Over The River, Project For The Arkansas River, State of Colorado, 2007, collage in two parts. Photo: Wolfgang Volz, © Christo 2007

The artist Christo and a group of federal land managers have asked a judge to throw out a lawsuit that seeks to halt the artist’s contentious environmental piece in Colorado, Over the River. The $50m project, which has been in the works for around three years, involves draping six miles of rippling fabric over the Arkansas River.

Last month, an activist group against the project that calls itself Roar (“Rags Over the Arkansas River”) filed an amended version of an earlier lawsuit claiming that land managers had underestimated the project’s environmental risks. Challenging the government’s decision to grant Christo a land-use permit, Roar says the project “will have significant short- and long-term impacts on wildlife within the Arkansas Canyonlands”, including the displacement of bighorn sheep from their primary habitat. Since plans include a crew of over 3,000 people drilling more than 9,000 holes into the riverbank, “the Art Project is akin to a massive resource extraction project, and under federal law should be treated as one”, the group writes.

In new filings last week, Christo and the land managers denied most of Roar’s allegations, saying that all disturbances will be temporary.

Although the legal back-and-forth is far from over, Christo has said such debates are as integral to his work as the final product. “The identity of our project is built in the permitting process,” the artist told the New York Times in 2010.

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Comments

26 Oct 13
23:58 CET

ANDY HOLMAN, PUEBLO ,CO .

Why would you fight a boost to your business between canon city and Salida sad

23 Aug 13
17:38 CET

ZEAQRAHT, GRONINGEN

This is a public place for all not for one individual to impose his wish on others under the pretext of art. What next? Blocking the sun to show waste of resources!

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