NFT campaign for Christo’s last piece fruition


Before Christo died, two years ago, he wished for the completion of the last two projects designed by him and his wife Jeanne-Claude. Thus, he asked his nephew, Vladimir Yavachev, who was also their project director for the last 32 years, to promise that he would bring ‘Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped’ and ‘The Mastaba‘ to life. The first saw its realization in September 2021, while for the second one, the artist’s nephew is now launching a campaign to make it happen. ‘It’s our final promise and our final mission,’ Vladimir Yavachev shared at Bloomberg’s CityLab conference in Amsterdam. Initiated in 1977, the enormous Ziggurat will stand in the deserts of Abu Dhabi, and it would be large enough to fit two Great Pyramids inside.


Measuring 150 meters high, 300 meters long, and 225 meters wide, the entire artwork will comprise 410.000 oil barrels, while it will celebrate the artists’ largest permanent artwork worldwide. To subsidize the project, the foundation of Christo and Jeanne-Claude will sell one NFT per barrel. ‘The project is not reliant on government funding, and since the estimated cost is around 400 million dollars, we are really looking at a lot of innovative ways (including NFTs) to bring this to life. It’s actually pretty straightforward maths: if you make 410.00 NFTs for each barrel with a price of 10K each, then you have the desired amount,’ said Yavachev.


christo and jeanne-claude's 'the mastaba'comes to life through NFT funding
all images © Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation | Christo in his studio with preparatory works for The Mastaba New York City, April 15, 2012



the mastaba is set to be permanent


When Christo and Jeanne-Claude were asked how they had so much patience to do this colossal artwork, they always answered, ‘it’s not a matter of patience, it’s a matter of passion’. The artists’ dream of wrapping the Arc de Triomphe was revived in September 2021. Now the artists’ foundation will utilize nonfungible tokens to support construction and maintenance. 


All of the duo’s projects were self-financed. The same is applied to the monumental sculpture made of hundreds of thousands of oil barrels. Construction is estimated to last four years, but as Yavachev mentioned, ‘it will be very sexily elevated in just two weeks’. Ten elevation towers will be used to lift the barrels into place and shape the monument. 


After 12 to 15 years, the barrels need to be replaced, so each NFT owner will be able to take their original 55-gallon oil barrel. ‘It’s like the cathedrals build from sponsored stones, but in this case, you can take the stone home.’ 



christo and jeanne-claude's 'the mastaba' comes to life through NFT funding
the Mastaba of Abu Dhabi (Project for United Arab Emirates) | scale model 1979

christo and jeanne-claude's 'the mastaba' comes to life through NFT funding

video still by ‘CityLab 2022’ during Vladimir Yavachev speech at Bloomberg’s CityLab conference | ten elevation towers lift the perimeter walls of the ‘Mastaba’ into place


christo and jeanne-claude's colossal 'mastaba' comes to life through NFT funding
Christo at the proposed site of The Mastaba, United Arab Emirates, March 13, 2017



project info:


name: The Mastaba

artist: Christo and Jeanne-Claude