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Christo's Over the River is over the hump

Word came down yesterday from the Bureau of Land Management in favor of large-scale installation artist Christo's

Over the River

project slated to cover areas over a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River in southern Colorado with fabric canopies. Though further approvals are still needed from the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado State Patrol, it's more than likely that Coloradans and visitors from around the world will be experiencing the long-planned work,

an object of controversy for well over a decade
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, by 2014.

"This is a major milestone in life of the project," notes Over the River spokeswoman Michele Ames. "Christo and the entire team are thrilled with the opportunity of moving forward." In a way, too, it would be a fitting tribute to Jeanne-Claude, Christo's late partner in work and life, who passed away two years ago. "We are much closer to finally realizing this work of art that Jeanne-Claude and I first envisioned many years ago" says Christo in a press release issued by Over the River. "Although our team is still reviewing the ROD, I am confident that we can now move forward so we begin construction in the summer of 2012." And that's a move in a good direction for the arts in Colorado.

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