"Over the River" hits a new snag with DU students lawsuit

Christo's "Over the River" will soon have another bridge to cross. Even as a public hearing that could secure Fremont County's approval of the project along the Arkansas River gets under way this morning in Canon City, a group of University of Denver students will be filing suit to stop it.

Christo, who's been working on this project for two decades, will be at the Canon City meeting with the Fremont County commissioners. Meanwhile, at 9 a.m., students from the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law will be at the federal courthouse in Denver, filing suit to stop Over the River on behalf of Rags Over the Arkansas River.

According to ROAR's website:

Whether you call us "ROAR," or our full name "Rags Over the Arkansas River," our organization is dedicated to preserving and protecting the headwaters of the Arkansas River, the Bighorn Sheep Canyon, its inhabitants and the communities that depend upon them.

Our founding project has been to formally oppose Christo and Jeanne Claude's "Over the River" project. This project involves suspending horizontal fabric panels within a 45 mile stretch over the Arkansas River's Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Hence the name "Rags Over the Arkansas River." The acronym ROAR soon became our primary moniker

This lawsuit should definitely help ROAR be heard. The case is being filed by DU student lawyers Mason Brown and Justine Shepherd; they are being overseen by professor Michael Harris.

Christo's work isn't the most controversial art project in Colorado. That title would probably go to "Mustang," the devil horse at DIA that recently made an ignominious list. Read more in "'Mustang:' Is DIA's devil horse the ugliest public art in the world?"

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I agree with everything said. I am from Howard, right in the middle of the proposed project sites and I would be devastated to see anything of the sort happen. It would have a huge impact on all the wildlife, people and the roadway. I just hope something can be done to keep the valley from being completely ruined. Thank you for the support and help in stopping this outrageous idea.


I agree with the lawsuit's intent.  It seems like this project would cause too much of a disturbance to warrant any kind of artistic contribution to our culture and society.  Besides, it doesn't take too much imagination to say, "Gee, I see a huge building, landmark, or whatever.  I'm going to drape some obnoxious shit over it and pretend like it's avant-guarde." 

Please!  It's been done before.  Christo should change his name to Repetitive.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Intriguing post, Stan. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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