The London Mastaba in Hyde Park

Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2018

Updated on

Floating in London’s Serpentine in Hyde Park is Christo's  London Mastaba, a 20-metre-high sculpture, which represents his late wife Jeanne-Claude's determination to make art free. 

Based on the trapezoid shapes of mastaba, an Arabic word for bench given to Egyptian tombs and seats found outside homes in ancient Mesopotamia, the temporary sculpture is the realisation of the artistic duo's shared dream of creating a floating version of a form that has fascinated them for half a century.

The London Mastaba, which is made of 7,506 painted barrels secured to scaffolding and anchored in the lake, was entirely self funded and is free to view by all.

Although the work has been produced in conjunction with the Serpentine Galleries summer exhibition of Christo and Jeanne Claude's work, the artist has maintained independence from galleries, government grants or patrons.

 The London Mastaba is the first large-scale sculpture by Christo and Jeanne-Claude to be realised in the UK.

Construction began on 3 April 2018 by a team drawn from JK Basel, Deep Dive Systems, and Coventry Scaffolding, with engineering help from Schlaich Bergermann Partner.

The London Mastaba will float on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park – freely viewable by the general public – until 23 September 2018. Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Barrels and The Mastaba 1958-2018 is at the Serpentine Galleries 19 June until 9 September 2018 and is free to visit.

( Information sourced from