People walk on the monumental installation entitled 'The Floating Piers' created by artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff on Iseo Lake, in northern Italy, on June 18, 2016.
Marco Bertorello—AFP/Getty Images
June 23, 2016 12:31 AM EDT

A huge floating art installation sprawling across Lake Iseo in northern Italy has been forced to shutter at night because the many thousands of unexpected visitors are wearing it down.

Created by Bulgarian–born artist Christo, “The Floating Piers” were supposed to be open for 24-hours a day until July 3. The enormous 1.9-mile floating walkway has become a major attraction, with 270,000 visitors since its debut on Saturday — well beyond organizers’ estimates of 500,000 people over the 16 days, according to Agence France-Presse.

In order to give the maintenance crew time to repair the wear-and-tear, and local authorities the chance to clean up after the thousands of visitors, officials will close the floating pontoon between midnight and 6 a.m.

The free walkway, located 60 miles east of Milan, is created from 200,000 floating cubes covered in orange fabric. Artist Christo, famed for his large-scale art installations, said the experience would, “feel like they are walking on water – or perhaps the back of a whale.”



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