I’m sure you’re familiar with the work of Christo, a Bulgarian artist famous for wrapping large buildings in cloth and other materials. He passed away in 2020, but his team, headed by his nephew Vladimir Yavachev, who worked with him for three decades, is going to build his final great work. He recently wrapped the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in fabric.
The Mastaba is an immense frustopyramidal sculpture (like a pyramid, but without the tip), which will become the largest work of art in the world. Its volume will be almost double that of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The amazing thing is how they are going to build it: stacking 414,000 colored barrels strong>. Here you can see it compared to the Great Pyramid of Giza, the largest in the world, along with an aerial view:
It was designed by Christo and his wife, the artist Jeanne-Claude, when they traveled to Saudi Arabia in 1979 . In these decades they hired several teams of architects and engineers to design a construction technique.
Finally, the team from Hosei University in Tokyo will be in charge of designing it. Like all Christo and Jeanne-Claude projects, they will finance themselves, without private or state aid.
It will be a complicated project that will take three years. Each wall of the structure will be built on the ground, and then lifted with the help of 10 huge cranes.
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The Mastaba will be 150 meters high by 300 meters long, on its widest side. It will be built in the Liwa Desert, about 160 kilometers from Abu Dhabi, in Saudi Arabia.
Here you can see the tallest statues in the world. Some surpass this construction in height, but not in volume:
We still don’t know how the nearly half a million colored barrels will be held together, so they don’t come loose.
When it’s finished, La Mastaba will become the largest sculpture in the world, and also in the only permanent work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, whose projects were only on display for a few days, and then disassembled and disappeared forever. It will be his great posthumous work.