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Christo Stands Against Trump by Abandoning His More Than $50 Million Colorado River Project

After investing $15 million of his own money and working for more than two decades to realize a monumental forty-two-mile-long public work that would completely transform the Arkansas River in Colorado, conceptual artist Christo announced that he is going to walk away from the project in protest of President Trump, Randy Kennedy of the New York Times reports.

The Bulgarian artist said he was shocked when Trump was elected. “The decision speaks for itself,” Christo said. “I came from a Communist country. I use my own money and my own work and my own plans because I like to be totally free. And here now, the federal government is our landlord. They own the land. I can’t do a project that benefits this landlord.”

Titled Over the River, the more than $50 million project involves temporarily suspending silvery fabric over six miles of the Arkansas River. The artist has been battling Colorado residents who believe the artwork would endanger wildlife in state and federal court and has won every legal argument. He is currently waiting for a federal appeals court to deliver the last judgment on the project and he expects it will be in his favor.

Originally conceived while wrapping the Pont Neuf in Paris with his wife Jeanne-Claude in 1985, Over the River would have been the artist’s largest and most ambitious American project.