New East Digital Archive

What is a supersize floating sculpture doing in London’s Hyde Park?

19 June 2018

Bulgarian-born artist Christo has unveiled his latest supersize sculpture in the heart of London’s Hyde Park.

The colossal artwork — officially known as The London Mastaba — will float on the capital’s Serpentine lake until the end of the summer.

Inspired by tombs in ancient Mesopotamia, the sculpture was created using 7,506 oil barrels, towering at 20-metres tall.

The artist said that the artwork’s central location was just one part of his mission to make art free and accessible.

“For a few months, The London Mastaba will be a part of the Serpentine Lake and its natural and urban surroundings,” said Christo, who recently marked his 83rd birthday. “Like with all of my projects, the construction, maintenance and removal of artwork will be entirely funded by me through the sale of my original works of art. The London Mastaba in Hyde Park will be absolutely free to the public: no tickets, no reservations and no owners. It will belong to everyone (until it’s gone).”

The project also coincides with a special exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery exploring the work of Christo and his late wife and artistic partner, Jeanne-Claude. The show, which combines more than half a century’s worth of sculptures, drawings and photographs, will run from 20 June to 9 September 2018.