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Friday, 25 January, 2002, 13:44 GMT
Christo wins shrink-wrap rights
The Reichstag was covered up in 1995
Artist Christo has won the rights to images of Germany's Reichstag building, which he and his wife shrink-wrapped as an art project.

The couple covered the parliament building in metallic silver fabric in 1995.

Christo took legal action against a photographic agency which wanted to sell postcards with the image on.

But Germany's Constitutional Court, the country's highest, has ruled the pictures can only be sold with the permission of Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude.

The judge decided that the wrapped building was limited in time, as with other art exhibitions, and not permanent like Berlin's Reichstag when it is uncovered.

Christo has created his art across the world
It is estimated that about five million people visited the building after Christo's huge undertaking to entirely cover the building.

Wrapping has become a theme for much of Christo's work, previously covering 160 trees in the Swiss city of Basle in 55,000 square metres of grey cloth and 23 kilometres of rope.

Christo and his French-born wife have also tackled stretches of Florida and California coastlines.

Speaking in 1998 before the unveiling of the Swiss trees Jeanne-Claude explained the meaning behind the method.

No message

"The cloth is the principle element to display the vulnerability, fragility and temporary character of our project.

"It can be very opaque, very transparent, and very sensual. It is very fragile, You know that in a few days it will be gone."

But she also warned critics not to look too deeply into the work.

She said: "Our works of art are like all good art.

"It is good for absolutely nothing else than being a work of art. It is not the symbol, it is not the message, it's only a work of art."

See also:

03 Apr 00 | UK
Art Hirst and foremost
14 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Creators fight for copyrights
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