Not only is Christo and the late Jeanne Claude’s floating sculpture beautiful to behold when lazing back in a paddle-boat on a Saturday afternoon, but it is also leaving joy behind in its wake. Once The London Mastaba has been removed from the Serpentine lake, Christo will fund a range of environmental improvements.
On a quest that will make not only members of the Serpentine swimming club happy, but also the local wildlife, the artist will create new animal habitats, which include baskets for herons and boxes for bats. In an attempt to improve conditions in the lake, the artist will fund litter clearance, and “the re-treatment of Phoslock on the lakebed to reduce the growth of harmful algae”.
“After the sculpture is removed and the materials are recycled, the original viewers can still feel it in their minds when they return to Hyde Park”, Christo tells Artnet.
Vladimir Yavachev, who is the director of operations for the project, also tells Artnet, “Maintaining the Serpentine and the surroundings continues to be a top priority. We will leave the lake even better than it was before”. Perhaps now, when you take your next summer dip, you won’t get a footfall of slime.