Christo Art Project Delayed

A project that would suspend fabric artwork over a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River in south central Colorado is on hold because of legal challenges. But the artist Christo says he remains committed to his Over the River project, as CPR’s Pat Mack reports.

Here is a transcript of Pat's report:

Reporter Pat Mack: Staging work was set to begin in December and construction next February. Christo’s spokesman Steve Coffin says the artist is holding off on buying expensive materials needed for that work.

Steve Coffin: Christo decided it would be not wise to go ahead and spend the money on this equipment and the materials without having these legal hurdles behind us.

Reporter: Those challenges include a federal and state lawsuit against the agencies that granted permits for the project. Joan Anzelmo is a spokeswoman for ROAR, Rags Over the Arkansas River, the group that filed the lawsuits. 

Joan Anzelmo:  We still have many months if not years to work through this, but ROAR is very confident Over the River will never happen.

Reporter: Anzelmo says it would cause traffic problems on Highway 50 and harm wildlife and the environment. Coffin says a federal environmental impact study outlined how to address those concerns. And he says Christo remains committed to the project and will continue planning work while construction is on hold. 

[Photo:CPR/Megan Verlee, Design: Christo & Jeanne Claude]

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