Never thought that the ancien Egypt pyramids would be topped some day but that thought perhaps has to be changed somewhere in the future. What you see here is ‘The Mastaba’, a 150-metre high sculpture that has languished on the drawing board for 33 years. Now, with the capital of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) looking to forge its identity through art, there is renewed hope for the project, which would cost an estimated US$350 million to $500 million to construct. That is the wish of the Bulgarian artist Christo, who conceived the idea in 1977.
A more poetic symbol to the fossil fuel civilization can hardly be imagined: Christo envisions a kaleidoscopic mountain of 410,000 painted petrol drums. The plan is to raise it in the desert of the United Arab Emirates about 160 kilometers from Abu Dhabi. Hundreds of labourers would be busy for about thirty months to build the 150 meters high flattened pyramid (we’re using the word ‘pyramid’ while it should be ‘mastaba’ which is an older Arabic geometrical form than the pyramids in Egypt.) Remarkable: no stones would be used. Instead 400.000 colored oil barrels would serve as building blocks to erect this gigantic monument that would radiate a magic glow when the sun comes up and lighten the hunderds of thousands of barrels. Just the idea is plain amazing.