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Christo abandons Over the River project in Colorado

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/25/2017

DENVER (AP) — The artist Christo said Wednesday he has abandoned his plan to drape translucent fabric above portions of Colorado's scenic Arkansas River, a proposal that generated fierce opposition and a long court battle.

"I no longer wish to wait on the outcome," the 81-year-old artist wrote in a website for the project, called Over the River. He cited 20 years of planning and five years of legal fights.

In a story published in the New York Times Wednesday, he said his decision was a protest against President Donald Trump.

The project would occupy federal land, and Christo told the newspaper he did not want to deal with the Trump administration.

"I use my own money and my own work and my own plans because I like to be totally free," he said. "And here now, the federal government is our landlord. They own the land. I can't do a project that benefits this landlord."

Over the River called for eight sections of fabric panels to be suspended in intervals along 42 miles of the river between Canon City and Salida. It would have taken two years to install and was to be on display two weeks

Opponents said the project could harm wildlife, the river and people.

Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude, proposed the project in 1996. Jeanne-Claude died in 2009.

Christo said he would focus on another project in the United Arab Emirates called the Mastaba.

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