A project to build an Egyptian-like pyramid structure in Abu Dhabi is being drawn up by Bulgarian artist Christo.
Already known for wrapping the Reichstag in Berlin and for siting thousands of coloured umbrellas across valleys in Japan and America, the artist wants to build a 150-metre-high, flat-topped pyramid out of 410,000 multi-coloured oil drums in the desert landscape in the al-Gharbia region – 100 miles from Abu Dhabi city.
Speaking in The Guardian, Christo, who only goes by his first name, says the pyramid, to be known as The Mastaba, would be the biggest permanent sculpture in the world. Estimated construction costs of $340m would also make it the world’s most expensive.
He says it is a project that he first envisaged in a series of drawings more than 30 years ago with his wife, Jeanne-Claude, who died in 2009, and is collaborating with Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al-Nahyan, representative of the crown prince.
He said that the project is to be financed “independently”, through sales of his works for up to $10m and “different investors”, The Guardian notes. The ruling family owns the land on which the pyramid will be built.
The project is likely to need 30 months to complete, Christo says, and will involve hundreds of workers.
He says the structure is not a political statement on the region and he is only interested in creating something that is “deeply rooted” in the great tradition of Islamic architecture.
Christo Javacheff is a Bulgarian-born American who started as a social realist painter before devoting himself to wrapping everyday objects from bottles to chairs in sheets or tarpaulin.mains to be seen.