Is the Wildlife Commission's Opposition the End of the Line for Christo's 'Over the River'?

May 2011

"Over the River," the large-scale installation project proposed by the artist Christo and his late wife, has been a source of controversy in Colorado for years, with artists and some government officials on one side and environmentalists on the other. Add to the latter group the Colorado Wildlife Commission, which doesn't believe the proposal's potential artistic and economic benefits outweigh the predicted headaches (Denver Post).

The nine-member body tells the Bureau of Land Management it unanimously opposes the internationally acclaimed artists' vision of suspending miles of fabric just above the Arkansas River as it snakes through the Colorado landscape. Although the BLM will have the final say over the proposal, the commission's "interpretation...carries significant weight."

The news is undoubtedly a major blow to the arts community and especially Christo, who recently noted he is focused only on "Over the River" and one other project in the United Arab Emirates (Salt Lake Tribune).