November 22, 2004
Impressive and imaginative works of art have enhanced
New York City’s public spaces throughout history
and have greatly contributed to the City’s status
as the cultural capital of the world. Since I took office,
I have been committed to improving and enhancing the
unique New York City experience, and I believe that
the display of thought-provoking and inspiring public
art adds to this experience. As a result, during my
administration, an array of works by talented artists
has been showcased in all five boroughs, including in
the park right outside my office at City Hall.
It is in this grand tradition of public art in New
York City that the internationally acclaimed artists
Christo and Jeanne-Claude will present The Gates,
Project for Central Park, New York, 1979-2005.
From February 12 through February 27, 2005, when Central
Park’s trees are bare of leaves and snow often
covers the expansive lawns, 23 miles of pedestrian paths
throughout the park will be adorned with 7,500 gates
bearing saffron-colored cloth. The Gates will
transform Central Park and challenge viewers to revisit
their preconceptions of public art and urban parks.
For the artists, this temporary exhibition will represent
the realization of a vision first imagined for Central
Park over a quarter of a century ago. The patient efforts
of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who would never let go
of their dream, have finally been realized, and The
Gates is perhaps the most exciting work of their
The park has been carefully restored by the Central
Park Conservancy and the City. It is more than parkland-it
is a defining feature of New York City. The presence
of such a peaceful oasis in this vibrant metropolis
helps to make New York the greatest city in the world.
Now, for 16 days in February, Central Park will be visually
transformed. I invite New Yorkers and visitors from
around the world to come to Central Park to experience
The Gates and appreciate its splendor and beauty.
Michael R. Bloomberg