The lashing straps of the Arc de Triomphe

Our lashing straps are part of the most spectacular current art installation: The wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris 2021!

The wrapped Arc de Triomphe at Place Charles de Gaulle
The wrapped Arc de Triomphe at Place Charles de Gaulle

More than 2.600 lashing straps in the special colors silver-grey and orange were supplied to the Christo project-team. Silvia Bauer from our sales team made sure that everything ran smoothly and was organized perfectly. Our lashing straps held 25,000 square meters or 15 tons of silver-grey fabric to the scaffolding construction and were responsible for the fact that people from all over the world could admire the covered French national monument.

Plans to cover the monument as early as the 1960s

The Parisian landmark, which was erected between 1806 and 1836, could be discovered in a new way for 16 whole days from September 18th to October 3rd, 2021. The posthumous installation – Christo died in May 2020 – is a tribute to Christo and Jeanne-Claude and at the same time the realization of Christo’s last wish, which he even mentioned in his will. If the Corona pandemic had not intervened, the project would have been realized as early as spring 2020. Already in 1961, Christo and Jeanne-Claude had the idea of covering the Arc de Triomphe. The couple were living in Paris at the time.

60 years later, the vision became reality: A substructure protected the historic building, and the shimmering silver-grey fabric covered the monument. Invisible for the most part, but indispensable: our lashing straps! These made sure that the heavy fabrics were properly secured in place. They were ordered in special colors, a fact that Christo had planned in detail before his death.

A lashing strap was needed every 50 cm. Silver-grey lashing straps held the fabric tarpaulins to poles, secured the scaffolding and connected the fabric with the scaffolding. Orange lashing straps, 100 mm wide, were responsible for securing the Arc de Triomphe.

Sven Wasik and Vladimir Yavachev on the roof of the Arc de Triomphe
Sven Wasik and Vladimir Yavachev on the roof of the Arc de Triomphe

Our head of business development, Sven Wasik, was on site on the weekend of the actual wrapping. The magic word “Vladimir Yavachev” opened the well-guarded site for him. Yavachev is Christo’s nephew, one of his closest confidants for years, and the project director for the veiled Arc de Triomphe. He finally brought Sven Wasik to the to the very top of the roof of the Arc de Triomphe.

Wasik’s impression: Gigantic! Our lashing straps dominated the picture on the day before the final wrapping. The entire project family is happy. About the project itself, of course but also happy that our lashing straps on site held everything together. “Your straps saved my ass!”. With this, Vladimir Yavachev thanked Sven Wasik impressively, after the work was done and when the first small roof was completely covered.

Of course, Udo and Tim Dolezych also wanted to experience this outstanding project in person. Together with our Deputy Managing Director Karl-Heinz Keisewitt the Dolezych crew set off for Paris on the last weekend of September. On site they were impressed by the overwhelming project. The Arc de Triomphe shimmered in all its facets from reddish in the morning to silver-grey blue in the sunshine to dark gray in the evening. Also, the view of Paris from the roof of the veiled work of art was also breathtaking.

The knowledge of the inside of the art installation, of the fact that Dolezych lashing straps made all this possible in the first place, fills all three of them with pride. Proud, of having been part of an extremely impressive art installation with products from Dortmund.

Tim Dolezych, Udo Dolezych and Karl-Heinz Keisewitt in front of the Arc de Triomphe
The Dolezych crew in Paris

“We are very happy that our family business could be part of this spectacular wrapping. Similarly to the Berlin Reichstag, (editor’s note: 1995 “Wrapped Reichstag”: Wrapping of the German Parliament in Berlin by Christo and Jeanne-Claude) we experienced the Arc de Triomphe in a completely new way. Another fascinating experience, that makes you want to do more art projects!”

For those who want to know exactly

  • The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon I in 1806, inaugurated in 1836 by the French king Louis-Phillipe and dedicated to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire: The Arc de Triomphe is France’s national monument.
  • Architect Jean-François Chalgrin was inspired by antique models (Titus-arch in Rome) but planned with truly gigantic dimensions.
  • The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is 50 m high, 45 m long and 22 m wide! Under the arch lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Eternal Flame (Flamme du Souvenir) that is maintained daily.