Mastaba – Christo’s oil-barrel pyramid in Abu Dhabi

Posted filed underArab World, Enviroments, Installations.

A project to build an Egyptian-like pyramid structure in Abu Dhabi is being drawn up by Bulgarian artist Christo.

Already known for wrapping the Reichstag in Berlin and for siting thousands of coloured umbrellas across valleys in Japan and America, the artist wants to build a 150-metre-high, flat-topped pyramid out of 410,000 multi-coloured oil drums in the desert landscape in the al-Gharbia region – 100 miles from Abu Dhabi city.

Computer simulation of The Mastaba

Speaking in The Guardian, Christo, who only goes by his first name, says the pyramid, to be known as The Mastaba, would be the biggest permanent sculpture in the world. Estimated construction costs of $340m would also make it the world’s most expensive.

He says it is a project that he first envisaged in a series of drawings more than 30 years ago with his wife, Jeanne-Claude, who died in 2009, and is collaborating with Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al-Nahyan, representative of the crown prince.

More about the project and some more images at

Christo at the proposed site of The Mastaba

Christo describes his artistic vision for The Mastaba during a scale model test in Al Gharbia (Western Region), near the oasis of Liwa.

Bonus: Projects Not Realized

A TV feature about Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 1971 “Projects Not Realised” exhibition at Annely Juda Fine Art in London.

- Christo on Vimeo