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On the last day of his working visit to France, the Minister of Culture Prof. Velislav Minekov visited the Arc de Triomphe, packed by the Christo and Jean-Claude team.

“I am endlessly excited not only because I see realized the decade-long dream of an artist with Bulgarian roots in the heart of cultural Europe, but because he continues to show us in practice how the great energy of an artist does not go away with his physical separation from the world, on the contrary – it continues to unite people, it is supranational and speaks the universal language of art. Art that has the power to change us, to make both the world and our lives better. Christo proved that artists who have something to say to the world live forever” – these words of the Minister of Culture prof. Velislav Minekov shared during his visit today to the officially opened packed Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Thursday evening by the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron.


“I am happy for this opportunity for the world to look at Bulgaria with different eyes,” said Minister Minekov and expressed confidence that now more people will be interested in the creative path of the artist Christo – from his native Gabrovo to his first great success on the world art scene, from his so-called “Bulgarian period”, about which not much is known abroad. Minister Minekov once again expressed his great gratitude to the French side and to the chairman of the Center for National Monuments Philippe Belaval. “The implementation of this breathtaking project is the embodiment of the love that Christo felt for Paris, but also an expression of the warm friendly feelings that Paris has not only for Christo, but, I believe, for our country as well,” said Minister Minekov.

Tens of thousands of square meters of recyclable artificial fabric, supported by kilometers of ropes, were used to wrap the famous Parisian monument, which took several weeks. The installation will be open for visits until October 3 this year, and the interest of tourists is huge, even before it is officially opened.

Later in the day, the Bulgarian Minister of Culture greeted the participants in the annual meeting of the Minu Balkanski Foundation, which took place at our embassy in Paris. The event was attended by our Ambassador to the French capital Nikolay Milkov and fellow students of the Foundation. “Together we are witnessing a kind of Bulgarian autumn art salon in Paris – with events dedicated to the creative genius of Hristo Javacheff – Christo and Jean-Claude, with the program of the Bulgarian Cultural Institute, with the intensification of meetings between figures and patrons of Bulgarian culture,” pointed out Minister Minekov in his welcoming speech. According to him, events such as today contribute to the promotion and preservation of culture, its enrichment and development, uniting young people in search of meaning and their desire to contribute to building a better and united world, and the achievements of the Bulgarian people become available to the world. In the evening, there will be a concert of outstanding young talents, supported by the Minu Balkanski Foundation. Minu Balkanski Foundation has been working hard in the fields of education, science and culture for more than 25 years.

Until the end of November, the guests of the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Paris can get acquainted with 30 little-known photographs, works of art and other exhibits from the early years of Hristo Javacheff – Christo. The opening of the documentary exhibition “Christo. From Gabrovo to the Arc de Triomphe” coincided with the posthumous implementation of his latest project for the packaging of the Arc de Triomphe in the French capital. The exhibition is a joint initiative of the Museum of Humor and Satire in Gabrovo and the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Paris, with the support of the Municipality of Gabrovo and the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture.

Photographs can be seen in the Photo Gallery.


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