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Thousands flock to Christo's "Floating Piers"

Bad weather may have forced partial closures of Christo's latest work - but nevertheless thousands flocked to Lake Iseo for their chance to "walk on water".

His ambitious three kilometer-long (1.9 mi) walkway of 200,000 floating cubes covered in orange fabric floating atop Lake Iseo was evacuated Saturday evening after wind and rain made it unstable. A safety manger for the installation said that given the influx of people and potentially bad weather, it was advisable to delay a visit. Local authorities have also cancelled train services to the lake to limit the numbers able to reach the project.

More than 55,000 visitors attempted to cross the walkways on Saturday, forcing organizers who had anticipated just 40,000 to ask that they return another day. And by the early evening the bridges had been forced to close by heavy winds and driving rain. The project connects the village of Sulzano with the small islands of Monte Isola and San Paolo.

Crowds of visitors hoping to visit Christo's "The Floating Piers" have been gathering around the lake since it opened on Saturday, with organizers hoping that 500,000 people will experience it by July 3 when the pontoons close to the public. But the walkways can only hold 11,000 people at any one time - and only if weather conditions allow.

81-year-old Bulgarian-born Christo, together with his late wife Jeanne-Claude are famed for their monumental artworks including the

Wrapped Reichstag in Berlin in 1995

and the wrapping of the Pont Neuf in Paris in 1985.

Watch video 04:45

Walking on Water: Christo's Floating Piers

is/ks/sbc (AFP)

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