When I first came across this story, I thought, “how on Earth could that house possibly cost two billion Euros?” But if you look closely, you will see that each 8” x 2” brick is made up of the equivalent of 50,000 shredded Euros! Much like banks will give away whatever money you need to finance a home- for the small price of signing away your soul (AKA interest payments for the rest of your life)- mints will give away billions in decommissioned money if you’re willing to fill out the paperwork.
Frank Buckley, an artist from Ireland, came up with the idea to build a house out of money after a close friend of his committed suicide over financial troubles. He saw this as the perfect outlet to make a statement about the credit crisis that has affected his country and so many others. He went to the mint and obtained 2 trailers full of shredded Euros- once valued at 1.2 billion while in circulation. On December 1st, 2011, Buckley began molding the tattered bills into bricks and constructing his house in an abandoned office space. After working for 12 hours a day- every day, he has finally revealed the work in progress.
Buckley has found building the home to be very therapeutic; it has given him a new sense that he can build anything. The artist had his own share of financial woes in the past after he was granted a homeowners loan without any proof of employment to pay the mortgage each month. Seeing the way his family was harassed by collection agencies made him think “god, this is just paper!” Buckley hopes that this project will get people around the world talking about currency- stating that we can’t keep allowing it to control everything and destroy peoples’ lives.
Steve Jobs once said, “You know, my main reaction to this money thing is that it’s humorous, all the attention to it, because it’s hardly the most insightful or valuable thing that’s happened to me.” When you don’t have money it’s easy to think that it could solve all of your problems, but those who do have it tend to disagree. With all of the attention he has gained from building this 2 billion Euro home, Buckley found a creative way to ask the world, “what does money mean to you?”
Images courtesy of Ink Tonic’s photostream on Flickr.