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Press release

Special Rooftop Viewing Opportunity Extended at Metropolitan Museum for The Gates

Viewing: From the Roof: Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The Gates in Central Park
Dates: Extended through week of March 1, 2005 (weather permitting)

(Monday, February 28, 2005)—The Metropolitan Museum of Art's special 'window' onto The Gates – its opening of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden – will be extended through this week, it was announced today. Offering visitors exceptional views of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's spectacular work of art in Central Park – The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005, the rooftopwill be kept open to the public, weather permitting, until the monumental work of art is dismantled. The Gates' 16-day installation in Central Park officially ended on Sunday, February 27, but the extended viewing opportunity provides additional opportunities for the public to view the gates positioned near the Museum until they are disassembled by volunteers sometime during the week of March 1.

The Cantor Roof Garden and other areas within the Museum facing Central Park have been enormously popular locations from which to view The Gates. During the period that The Gates were on view, some 300,000 people visited the Metropolitan Museum, more than double the average number of visitors for the same February time period in previous years.

The Metropolitan's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, normally closed to the public from November to late April, presents spectacular views across Central Park to the Manhattan skyline. From its vantage point, visitors enjoy a dramatic bird's-eye view of this extraordinary work of art and cultural phenomenon, which was 26 years in the development and approval phases. The monumental undertaking – the husband-and-wife artist team's first temporary outdoor work of art in New York, their home of over 40 years – consists of 7,500 saffron-colored vinyl gates (each 16 feet in height and hung with saffron fabric panels) placed at 12-foot intervals over 23 miles of pedestrian walkways that lace the park.

In addition, the following dining areas within the Metropolitan Museum afford views of Central Park and The Gates until they are disassembled – the Petrie Court Café and the American Wing Café, both located on the Museum's first floor and open to the public; and The Trustees Dining Room, located on the fifth floor and reserved for the exclusive use of Museum Members (reservations required).

Last year, from April 6 through July 25, the Metropolitan presented a special exhibition of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The Gates, featuring preparatory drawings and collages by Christo, photographs, maps, and other materials related to the evolution of The Gates since 1979. Recalling the installation, Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan, commented: "We were delighted to present the blueprints, if you will, of this far-reaching project, which the visiting public was able to preview here at the Museum. Now, at long last Christo and Jeanne-Claude's monumental installation will see fruition. This work of massive scope will surely galvanize the interest of both New Yorkers and visitors from around the nation as well as the world, and constitute an unforgettable tribute to the grandeur of Central Park, and a reaffirmation of the continuity of culture and the centrality of art to the life of our city."

The Cantor Roof Garden will be open, weather permitting, every day through the week of March 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., except Monday, February 28. Access to the Roof Garden is free with Museum admission.

Shops throughout the Metropolitan Museum carry books, posters, maps, postcards, and other souvenir publications related to The Gates. In the Mezzanine Gallery, wristwatches and prints related to The Gates are also available. Proceeds from the sale of publications and related reproductions benefit The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Nurture New York's Nature. Christo and Jeanne-Claude derive no income from the sale of these items.

In addition, limited-edition prints by Christo related to other projects by Christo and Jeanne-Claude are available in the Mezzanine Gallery. For those who were unable to see The Gates in Central Park, the Museum's Web site features a series of short videos, as well as a selection of still images of the installation. The video images include the unfurling of the saffron-colored fabric panels that took place on February 12, as well as views of the park from the Metropolitan Museum showing the unfurled gates in place. For more information about Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The Gates, visit the Web site


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