Credit: Wolfgang Volz
Credit: Wolfgang Volz

Move over pyramids, Abu Dhabi is set to house the world’s largest permanent sculpture, built from over 400,000 multi-coloured oil barrels, the Daily Mail reports.

The almost inconceivable project is the brain-child of Bulgarian-born artist Christo, famed for his obscure projects including wrapping Berlin’s Reichstag building in fireproof polypropylene fabric, placing yellow and blue umbrellas in California and Japan, and even wrapping the coast of Little Bay in Sydney with synthetic fabric.

Christo’s latest concept, the Mastaba sculpture, is planned to be built in the middle of the desert, 161 kilometres away from Abu Dhabi. Expected to cost more than $AU324million, the Mastaba sculpture will take 30 months and hundreds of people to build, with a German company commissioned to supply the coloured barrels. Inspired by the yellow and red colours in the sand, 74-year-old Christo told the Daily Mail: “When the sun rises, the vertical wall will become almost full of gold”.

Credit: Wolfgang Volz

The 150 metre flat-topped pyramid will be taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza, and is hoped to become an iconic landmark to the area, driving millions of tourists annually. Egypt’s pyramids and The Eiffel Tower in Paris each draw two million visitors each year.

Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude first visualized the sculpture 30 years ago, but its completion was delayed due to ongoing conflict in the region.

Abu Dhabi is a multicultural society notable for its incredible skyscrapers and luxurious hotels. As it aspires to become the centre of art and culture in the Middle East, Christo’s project is welcomed by royal family who are excited about its completion.

Christo during a scale model test at the proposed sight neat the Liwa Oasis, 161 kilometres from Abu Dhabi

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