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Christo's latest project a 2-mile fabric walkway on Italian lake

By Shawn Price
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Christo's latest project a 2-mile fabric walkway on Italian lake
On Thursday morning, workers unfurled 1 square kilometer of shimmering yellow fabric across the piers and pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio. Photo by Wolfgang Volz

PILZONE, Italy, June 16 (UPI) -- The artist Christo's latest big project, "The Floating Piers," will open on Saturday, connecting two islands on an Italian lake via a saffron-colored walkway nearly 2 miles long.

Christo Javacheff, the Bulgarian-born American artist known simply as Christo, is known for his large outdoor projects like his last one: 7,500 golden-paneled gates in New York's Central Park in 2005. This new $16.8 million project sits on Lake Iseo, in Italy's Lombardy region through July 3.

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"I think this is a record in the history of Christo's special projects because he and the team realized it in 22 months; normally it takes decades," project curator Germano Celant said on Thursday. "So I will say that it's an Italian and American miracle at the same time."

The project will be open to the public 24 hours a day, so that visitors can walk from the mainland to the two islands in the lake with a flotilla of boat hands, lifeguards, stewards and information officers ready to assist them, or rescue them if they take a spill into the lake.

"The Floating Piers," made from floating squares and waterproof yellow fabric, will be dismantled, recycled and resold when the run is over.

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