Artist Christo’s Floating Barrels on a Lake
2018-06-19 22:00:42

The ducks and geese at a lake in London’s Hyde Park have a new neighbor: a floating structure of 7,506 barrels in the colors of red, mauve and blue.(1)

The floating structure, called “The London Mastaba,” is the latest creation of Christo.(2)

He is the Bulgarian artist who wrapped Berlin’s historic Reichstag building in silver; let people walk on water with the floating piers in Italy; and decorated New York’s Central Park with colorful cloth gates.(3)

Christo’s latest work rises 20 meters above the surface of the park’s Serpentine Lake. The artwork weighs nearly 600,000 kilograms.(4)

The colors were chosen to go with the green grass and gray-blue sky of London.(5)

It was inspired by ancient Mesopotamian benches and Egyptian tombs. “Mastaba” is the Arabic word for bench.(6)

Christo and his late partner, Jeanne-Claude, first dreamed of a floating mastaba in 1967.(7)

They planned it for Lake Michigan in the United States. Fifty years later, it has finally arisen in London.(8)

The artist has been planning an even bigger version: a mastaba in the Abu Dhabi desert.(9)

It would be made from 410,000 barrels and rise 150 meters to become the largest sculpture in the world.(10)

Like Christo’s other works, “The London Mastaba” is temporary. It will float on the lake until September 23.(11)

The sculpture will then be torn down. And all the barrels will be recycled.(12)

Lucia Halpern of Hyde Park watched the work being built over two months.(13)

She said her dog Coco was a fan “because it keeps the ducks away and she can go in the water.”(14)

But she declared herself “a bit disappointed” by the structure.(15)

“The only thing I find beautiful about it is the reflection in the water,” she said. “Maybe that’s the point.(16)

It’s quite pretty when it gets the light and puts these magenta and pink colors on the water.”(17)

I’m Caty Weaver.(18)

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