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Tourists Can Walk on Water With Italy’s Floating Art

Jun 28, 2016 03:15 AM EDT
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A floating art allows tourists to walk on the waters of Lake Iseo in Italy,

"The Floating Piers" is a floating saffron-colored walkway that stretches three kilometers, connecting two small islands in Lake Iseo in the Lombardy region of Italy.

The art installation was created by 81-year-old artist Christo and is made from floating polystyrene docks topped with 100,000 square meters of gold fabric.

"We chose this lake because of its marvelous location, the islands reach hundreds of meters above the sea and only 2,000 people live there," said the Bulgarian-American artist Christo in an interview with CNN.

Christo has always dreamed of walking on water. The story of "The Floating Piers" began 46 years ago when Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude were asked to build a floating bridge atop South America's Rio de la Plata.

In 2009, Jeanne-Claude died from brain aneurysm. But Christo was determined to turn this dream into reality. And so he continued to transform natural landscapes temporarily with massive art installations.

His famous works include wrapping the 820-feet-long section of the Aurelian Walls in Rome in rope and fabric, which he called "The Wall," and the installation of 7,500 saffron-paneled gates in New York's Central Park, which he and Jeanne-Claude called "The Gates."

In Lake Iseo, Christo hopes to encourage the simple joys of walking amidst elements of nature with his open-air installation.

"It's the real thing. And it attracts people who really appreciate that," Christo said.

"For two to three kilometers there will be real wind, real sun, real water. It is all real. Jean-Claude and myself loved that."

Tourists would step onto the piers at the mainland, take a walk to Monte Isola island - the largest island in Lake Iseo - then hike up the hill and view the art installation from above.

Those who are more adventurous could come down from the other side of the island and continue across the water out to San Paolo, which is the tiny island with one house framed by the installation.

Just like the other works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, "The Floating Piers" will be recycled into something else in July.

"Our works are nomadic, just like people. They appear somewhere for a short time and then they are gone forever," Christo said.

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