Chaos at Italian lake as crowds try to 'walk on water'

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The project, by artist Christo, runs until July 3rd. Photo: The Floating Piers/Facebook
15:17 CEST+02:00
Some 3,000 people were blocked at a train station in northern Italy on Wednesday morning as they tried to make their way to the renowned Dutch artist Christo’s ‘The Floating Piers’ project.

Emergency services were assisting the crowd, including 400 children, blocked at Brescia’s central station, which has become a hectic interchange for those desperate to see the installation on Lake Iseo before it’s removed in early July, Ansa reported.

Meanwhile health teams were on board at the lake in Lombardy to assist people suffering from dehydration as they waited in “hellish” conditions amid rising temperatures, reported.

The crowds have been gathering around the lake since the project opened on Saturday. On the first day alone, more than 55,000 people tried to cross the two walkways. Some 70,000 turned up on Monday.

But the walkways can only hold 11,000 people at a time – and only if weather conditions allow.

By the early evening on Sunday the bridges had been forced to close due to heavy winds and rain.

Authorities have also had to limit train services in order to reduce the number of people arriving at the lake.

Christo first conceived the project in 1970 for the River Plate delta in Argentina but was thwarted after failing to secure the necessary permits. 

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Made of 200,000 recyclable polyethylene cubes linked by 200,000 giant screws, the piers are covered with a dahlia-yellow fabric made of tightly woven nylon designed to change tone as the sun sets and become an intense red when wet.

The project, which runs until July 3rd, will be closed from 10pm on Thursday until 7.30 on Friday for maintenance.

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