Despite Losing Sierra Club Support, Environmental Groups Continue to Fight Latest Christo Installation Project

Across the country, but continuing this early-winter’s theme of art controversies, the battle over the artist Christo‘s plans to assemble a new, massive installation along the Arkansas River in rural Colorado, called “Over the River,” continues to be heated. Per usual with the artist’s works, there’s the group who doesn’t want him touching their turf and there’s the other side who do. In this case, environmentalists have been attempting to push the project away, saying his desire to put up nearly 6 miles of fabric along the river will disrupt not just the natural beauty of the place, but nature as well. Nothing entirely new there, as that sort of push back is par for the course when it comes to his work. However, after the environmental protection group, the Sierra Club, got involved late this summer, saying that they were okay with Christo’s plans, the LA Times reports that there have been a series of infighting battles against the pro and con groups, with the con contingent now feeling like they’ve been abandoned by the most powerful organization they thought they’d have on their side to help swing the battle their way. The groups will continue to duke it out until this spring, when the Bureau of Land Management decides if the project will get the okay or not (you might recall that this summer they released Environmental Impact Statements about the project). In the interim, and also like usual, Christo is enjoying the whole, laborious process: “By discussing the work of art they become part of the work of art,” he said. “They make it more important.”