Jeff Koons' polemical 'Bouquet of Tulips' begins installation in Paris

The nearly 40-feet sculpture will be on view near the Champs-Elysées, after three years of political wrangling over its location.

"Bouquet of Tulips," which depicts a hand holding the American artist's signature balloon tulips, is being installed in the municipal gardens behind the Petit Palais.

Koons proposed the sculpture for Paris in the wake of the terror attacks that took place in the city in November 2015, killing 130 people.

At the time, the artist described the installation as "a symbol of remembrance, optimism and healing." The missing twelfth tulip of the bouquet represents the victims of the attack.

The work was originally intended to be installed between the Palais de Tokyo and the Musée d'Art Moderne -- a location that sparked public outcry in France.

A group of artists and gallery owners objected to the installation in a letter published in French newspaper Libération, noting that it had no symbolic connection with the Paris attacks.

"Due to its visual impact, gigantism and situation, this sculpture would upset the present harmony between the columns of the Musée d'Art Moderne and the Palais de Tokyo and the view of the Eiffel Tower," the signees -- among them former French culture minister Frédéric Mitterrand -- wrote.

A three-year negotiation ensued between former French culture minister Françoise Nyssen, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and Noirmontartproduction, who was leading negotiations on Koons' behalf.

According to The New York Times, the installation costs for the sculpture, which amount to €3.5 million, were financed by French and American sponsors.

"Bouquet of Tulips" by Jeff Koons is expected to be inaugurated during Nuit Blanche, an annual evening art event on October 5.