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Christo, artist known for massive, fleeting displays, dies aged 84

In 2001, he installed more than 7,500 vinyl gates in New York's Central Park, and wrapped the Reichstag in Berlin in fabric in 1995.

The artist Christo, known for massive, ephemeral public arts projects, has died at his home in New York aged 84.

His death was announced on Twitter and the artist’s web page. No cause of death was given.

With his late wife Jeanne-Claude, the artists’ careers were defined by the massive, ambitious art projects that quickly disappeared soon after they were erected.

In 2001 he installed more than 7,500 vinyl gates in New York’s Central Park, and wrapped the Reichstag in Berlin in fabric with an aluminium sheen in 1995.

A man stands at the top of remains of the Berlin Wall and looks at the wrapped Reichstag building, a project titled Wrapped Reichstag by American artist Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude
A man looks at the wrapped Reichstag building in Berlin (Jan Bauer/AP)
Pedestrians walk along the edge of Harlem Meer under The Gates project by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude in New York’s Central Park
The Gates project in New York’s Central Park (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Their self-financed £20 million Umbrellas project erected 1,340 blue umbrellas in Japan and 1,760 blue umbrellas in Southern California in 1991.

The statement said the artist’s next project, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, will appear in September in Paris as planned.

“Christo lived his life to the fullest, not only dreaming up what seemed impossible but realising it,” his office said.

“Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s artwork brought people together in shared experiences across the globe, and their work lives on in our hearts and memories.”

Artists Christo and his wife and partner Jeanne-Claude
Christo and his wife and partner Jeanne-Claude (Richard Drew/AP)
Artist Christo Vladimirov Yavachev, known as Christo, in northern Italy
Christo on his installation The Floating Piers on Lake Iseo, northern Italy (Luca Bruno/AP)

Born in Bulgaria in 1935, Christo Vladimirov Javacheff studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Sofia before moving to Prague in 1957, then Vienna, then Geneva.

It was in Paris in 1958 where he met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, who would become his partner in life and art.

Jeanne-Claude died in 2009 aged 74 from complications of a brain aneurysm.

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