In 1961, three years after they met in Paris, Christo and Jeanne-Claude began creating works of art in public spaces. One of their projects was to wrap a public building. When he arrived in Paris, Christo rented a small room near the Arc de Triomphe and had been attracted by the monument ever since. In 1962, he made a photomontage of the Arc de Triomphe wrapped, seen from the Avenue Foch.
In 2017, while preparing the exhibition Christo et Jeanne-Claude, Paris for scheduled for 2020 at the Centre Pompidou, Christo discusses with Centre Pompidou’s President, Serge Lasvignes, and Director, Bernard Blistène, about realising a project in parallel with the exhibition. That is when Christo decides to revive the Arc de Triomphe project.
In October 2018, Philippe Bélaval (President of Centre des monuments nationaux, the institution that manages the Arc de Triomphe) meets Christo and presents the project to the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.
In January 2019, the project is approved by the President of France, and permission is granted by the French government’s Centre des monuments nationaux in April 2019.