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Walking-on-Water Artwork Hugely Popular in Italy

The latest large-scale installation by conceptual artist Christo is a 2-mile long walkway covered in saffron-colored fabric and connecting two islands in Northern Italy's Lake Iseo to each other and the mainland. Called "The Floating Piers," it's designed to make you feel like you're walking on water. Attracted by this prospect as well as the fact that the temporary installation is free to the public, visitors have descended on the area by the hundreds of thousands since it opened last Saturday. Organizers had planned on about 40,000 people a day; instead, they've sometimes gotten more than double that, for a total of more than 350,000 water walkers so far.

The influx of tourists has put a strain on the surrounding towns, as well as a strain on the walkway itself, which will now be closed every morning from midnight to 6 a.m. so that maintenance workers can clean and repair the unexpected wear and tear sustained by the saffron fabric. The piece will only be around for a short while; it's scheduled for dismantling on July 3.