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Christo’s ‘Over the River’ Project Gets Government Approval

After years of debates between environmentalists, politicians, and locals, Christo Javacheff’s massive, $50 million Over the River installation — a work that will suspend swaths of fabric over select segments of a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River in Colorado — has finally received the necessary approval by federal regulators. While some additional permits are still needed, a two-week display of the work could go up as early as August 2014.

Christo’s response to the news? “We are elated. Every artist in the world likes his or her work to make people think. Imagine how many people were thinking, how many professionals were thinking and writing in preparing that environmental impact statement.” Considering that he’s covering the full cost of the project, which is expected to generate $121 million in “economic output” and an estimated 400,000 visitors, this sounds like a good thing for the residents of Colorado.

Our only real concern: the aforementioned “environmental impact” of the work. According to the Colorado Wildlife Commission, the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep who inhabit the area could be blocked from water sources as a result of the construction process. Measures are supposedly being taken to protect them, but there’s really no telling what the end result will be. [via NYT]

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