World famous wrap-artist Christo is in Denver tonight to drum up support for his Arkansas River cover-up project. The sold-out Seawell Ballroom event kicks off a four-city lecture series announcing the 45-day public comment period required after the BLM releases the environmental impact statement of the project on July 15. For "Over the River" to ever get underway, Christo is going to have to make some big promises... To prevent bighorn sheep from dying of thirst during the two-week temporary exhibition, volunteers will have to dress in animal costumes to lure the wildlife from the canyon walls, through the US 50 traffic jam and down into the fabric-covered river to take a drink. Instead of "recycling" the materials from the project into pricey souvenirs for art collectors, Christo must promise that the one million square feet of silvery luminous fabric and cables will be made into clothing, blankets and tents for the homeless. To keep critics of the project from using the four-city tour to complain that the "environmental artist" is actually creating an anti-environmental artwork, Christo will use the time allotted in his lectures to avoid questions and instead share stories about the financial success of his Central Park "Gates" exhibition, and how his art projects have changed the world (and vice versa).
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