One of the most iconic architectural landmarks on the planet, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, will become a part of augmented reality history thanks to a new project from Snap.
The occasion is the launch of Christo Vladimirov Javacheff’s posthumous art installation in the center of Paris, decades after the famed artist first envisioned the work.
The installation, titled “The Final Christo: Original Works for The Arc de Triomph” is both a physical work, a series of photo montages, and an immersive experience facilitated by the Snapchat platform. The start of the wrapping of the Arc De Triomphe, Christo’s primary artistic motif, began on September 12, finally making real the vision of the artist who passed away in May of 2020 in New York City.
Then, on September 17, an associated Christo exhibition of Arc de Triomphe art will also kick off at the Sotheby’s gallery in Paris. However, before the official launch of the Sotheby’s exhibition, you can get a taste of the experience by opening the Snapchat app, scanning the Snapcode below (or visiting this link), and stepping into the history of Christo’s artistic love affair with the Paris landmark.
Once inside the portal experience, which includes the sounds of the city, you can time travel from 1962, when Christo first began making the photomontages of his vision of a wrapped Arc De Triomphe, with stops in 1988, 2018, 2020, all the way until 2021.
When you reach the present day, the global portal Lens shows you an AR version of the Arc De Triomphe being swathed in Christo’s vision as it looks today.
The Lens is accessible from anywhere in the world, but visitors to the Arc De Triomphe in Paris will also have the opportunity to experience the AR interaction by scanning Snapcodes included within the gallery exhibition of Christo’s work that will run until October 3, when the public art installation at the Arc De Triomphe will also end.
This immersive approach to France’s art history is just the first major step toward the full launch of Snap’s AR Studio in Paris, set to open soon with the mission of increasing awareness of augmented reality as a new platform for expression and interaction in Europe.
Beyond the realm of AR, if you’re a hardcore Francophile, you can follow a livestream of the Arc De Triomphe installation as it reaches its official presentation via the video below.