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Zee News, India: French man fined for turning home into art exhibit

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French man fined for turning home into art exhibit

Paris, Sept 19: A French businessman-turned artist was fined 200,000 euros ($253,800) on Wednesday for defacing his 18th century stone home in a quiet suburb of Lyon to turn it into a work of art called « The Abode of Chaos« .

Thierry Ehrmann, 44, who made a fortune from an online art data business, has spent 2.5 million euros ($3.17 million) on the project since starting out in 1999.

His property is littered with 2,500 works of art including a crashed helicopter in the courtyard, wrecked cars, a model of the jagged steel remains of the World Trade Center. It also has a reproduction of an oil platform on the roof.

The walls of the old building are painted black and covered in signs, black and white pictures of war, and faces including those of Osama Bin Laden, U.S. President George W. Bush, Ariel Sharon, Yasser Arafat, and Fidel Castro as well as eight portraits of popes. Ehrmann painted the two-story house together with 70 artists from various countries.

The Lyon court ruled that Ehrmann had violated town planning laws by modifying the property without permission. But the court did not demand he restore the property to its original state.

Ehrmann said the point of art was to ask questions and was delighted with the outcome of the case.

« We can say that it’s a victory, the work of art is saved. All the 70 artists (who participated in the work of art) are delighted, everybody is delighted (by the court decision not demanding the restoration of the house to its original state). »

Pierre Dumont, mayor of Saint Romain au Mont d’Or who took Ehrmann to court, argued that he has violated laws on building within the town limits.

Neighbours in the small village of Saint Romain au Mont d’Or had mixed views.

« It paves the way for the destruction of the village, anyone will be able to do whatever they want, » said one angy neighbour.

Another was unconcerned: « It’s a work of art, so it’s fair, it’s normal », he said.

Bureau Report

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septembre 19, 2006 - Posted by | La Revue de Presse

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