The “Mastaba” will float on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park until the end of September.
The artist Christo is known for making the impossible possible. In 2016, he allowed hundreds of thousands of people to walk on water when he erected floating piers in the middle of Italy’s Lake Iseo. In 1983, he and his wife Jeanne-Claude surrounded 11 islands in Miami’s Biscayne Bay with floating fabric the color of Pepto Bismol.
This summer, another urban body of water will be transformed by the artist. He and his team have built an enormous structure made from 7,506 stacked barrels. The work, which officially launched on Monday, floats in the middle of Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake in London.
The 65-foot-tall, 600-ton trapezoidal barrel structure is called a mastaba, after the Arabic word for a bench, and its shape is based on the form of stone benches that originated in Mesopotamia. Although it is as tall as the Sphinx in Egypt, it is in fact a smaller test run for a larger work—eight times as tall—that the artist has been working to erect in Abu Dhabi since 1977. It took around two and a half months to construct.
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