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An artists’ rendering of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Colorado project (via

In keeping with Christo’s announcement last month that his planned Colorado project, “Over the River,” would be indefinitely postponed, federal judge John Kane has ruled that the artist cannot move ahead with the project until a lawsuit attempting to stop it is resolved. The lawsuit was brought by the opposition group Rags Over the Arkansas River against the Bureau of Land Management, challenging the BLM’s decision to approve “Over the River.”

According to a press release from ROAR:

Judge Kane directed counsel for OTR not to “hang those sheets over the river” until ROAR has a meaningful opportunity to make its case to the Court. His decision essentially prohibits any OTR construction until the court authorizes it.

Judge Kane also granted Christo’s request to intervene in the lawsuit, which means that he joins the BLM as a defendant. Steve Coffin, a representative for the artist, wrote to Hyperallergic:

[W]e are pleased that Judge Kane granted our request to intervene so that the interests of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s “Over The River” project could be protected. The ruling by Judge Kane requiring OTR to give notice to the parties was issued several weeks ago but that ruling had virtually no impact because the project does not have an exhibition date and won’t have a date until there is greater certainty in the legal proceedings.

The proposed site for “Over the River” (click to enlarge)

All of this means that “Over the River” is effectively at a standstill. There’s also a separately filed appeal challenging the BLM’s approval of “Over the River,” and both that appeal and the lawsuit will need to be resolved before Christo receives a green light to move ahead.

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Jillian Steinhauer

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art...