The Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is a triumphal arch located in Paris, France. It stands at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, which was formerly known as the Place de l’Étoile. The arch is a Monument National historique of France and was built between 1806 and 1836. The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon to commemorate the victory of the French armies at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. It is considered to be one of the finest examples of the Neoclassical architecture in the world.
Origins of the Arc de Triomphe
The commission for the Arc de Triomphe was given by Napoleon to the architects Jean Chalgrin and Louis-Martin Berthault. The design for the arch was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus, and was meant as a symbol of French military power. The construction of the Arc de Triomphe began in 1806 and was completed in 1836, after Napoleon’s exile. The arch stands 50 meters high and was constructed from stone, with a grand entrance stairway leading up to two wings of the arch. It is adorned with reliefs and inscriptions which commemorate historical events and victories in French history.
Why did they wrap Arc de Triomphe?
The Arc de Triomphe has been wrapped several times in fabric and polythene, as part of a project to restore and protect the monument. The fabric and polythene cover, which was first used on the arch in 1997, is a special material which is resistant to the elements, protecting the arch from the damaging effects of acid rain, wind and sun. The fabric prevents dust and other particles, such as stone fragments, from damaging the arch.
The fabric and polythene also prevent graffiti and vandalism from damaging the arch. The material is printed with a pattern of chevrons, which helps to disguise the fabric from view and makes it difficult for anybody to spray-paint graffiti on the monument. In addition, the fabric and polythene protect the reliefs and inscriptions on the arch from being rubbed away or becoming worn down due to erosion.
Restoration and Protection of the Arc de Triomphe
The wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe is part of an ongoing program of restoration and protection of the monument. The project was started in 1997 and is aimed at preserving the arch for future generations. The fabric and polythene cover helps to protect the arch from the effects of pollution, acid rain and erosion, as well as preventing graffiti and vandalism. The project also involves regular cleaning of the arch, as well as the clearing of debris and dust which accumulates on the monument.
The project has also been beneficial for the local area, as the fabric and polythene cover helps to keep pollution and particulate matter away from the people who live and work near to the Arc de Triomphe. The wrapping of the arch also helps to reduce the amount of traffic fumes in the area, which can contribute to smog and other forms of air pollution.
The Relevance of the Arc de Triomphe Today
The Arc de Triomphe is a powerful symbol of French national identity and of the nation’s victory in the Napoleonic Wars. It is the focal point of the Champs-Élysées and is visited by millions of people every year. In addition, it is one of the symbols of the city of Paris and it is featured prominently on postcards and tourist brochures.
The monument is also home to the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, which is a powerful symbol of remembrance and of the sacrifices made by the French military. The Arc de Triomphe is a National Monument of France and as such, it is an important part of the country’s history and culture.
Public Opinion on Wrapping the Arc de Triomphe
The wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe has been controversial, with many people questioning the necessity of the project. Some have argued that the monument should remain uncovered, as the covering of the arch detracts from its beauty and majesty. Others have argued that wrapping the arch is a necessary part of preserving the monument for future generations and helping to protect it from the elements, pollution and vandalism.
The majority of opinion appears to be in favour of the project, with many people appreciating the importance of preserving the monument for future generations. There has also been a vocal outcry from certain members of the public who feel that wrapping the arch is unnecessary or damaging to the appearance of the monument.
Additional Measures Taken to Protect Arc de Triomphe
The wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe is only part of the project to protect and preserve the monument. Additionally, the Parisian government has taken measures to reduce pollution levels in the area, and there are plans to reduce traffic in the Champs-Élysées to lessen the levels of toxins and particulate matter which are released into the atmosphere. There are also plans to improve the drainage around the monument, in order to reduce the levels of runoff which can damage the reliefs and inscriptions.
The Parisian government has also increased the budget for the restoration and protection of the Arc de Triomphe, as well as creating a wider plan for the preservation and conservation of the monument. The project includes the regular cleaning of the arch, as well as the removal of debris and dust which have built up over time. There are plans to install automated sensors in the fabric and polythene which can detect any movement around the monument and alert a team of preservationists if they are required.
Recent Conservation Efforts and Studies
Recent conservation efforts at the Arc de Triomphe have included studies which have established the current state of the monument, as well as identifying areas which may require further restoration. The studies have also helped to identify possible risks and sources of damage, such as wear and tear, leakage, wind damage and vandalism.
As well as undertaking additional studies, the Parisian government has also implemented plans to protect the arch from falling debris and from the extreme weather conditions in the area. The project includes the installation of weatherproof sheeting and netting around the monument, as well as additional reinforcing beams and protective measures against strong winds.
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most iconic monuments of France and is a powerful symbol of the nation’s history and culture. Over the years, the monument has been subjected to significant wear and tear from the elements and from pollution, as well as vandalism and graffiti. In order to protect the monument, the Parisian government has taken steps to wrap the arch in fabric and polythene, which helps to protect it from the elements, pollution and vandalism. The project has been controversial, with opinions split on the necessity of the project, however the majority have expressed their support for the preservation of the monument for future generations. Additional conservation efforts have been implemented, including studies to identify potential risks, as well as steps taken to protect the arch from falling debris and severe weather.