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Man builds house from 1.4 billion shredded euros

Three-room abode by Irish artist makes bold statement about the smoking crater that is Europe's economy.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Contributing editor Eric Mack covers space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
Eric Mack
The euro crisis has created a new kind of "money pit." Video screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

It takes real money to build a decent house these days, and it's even more helpful if that money is already in the form of bricks.

Dublin artist Frank Buckley built a house from 1.4 billion euros ($1.8 billion) worth of decommissioned and shredded notes of the currency. The three-room house with a bedroom, bathroom, and living room is Buckley's way of making a statement about the crisis the European economy finds itself in, and Ireland's out-of-control construction boom of the last decade that stands as his country's major contribution to the current continent-wide fiscal emergency.

According to Buckley, the bricks of discarded euro notes he picked up with two trailers from a nearby Mint not only make a decent structural material, they also insulate the home pretty well. He estimates that each brick is made up of around 50,000 former euros.

Buckley's been working on the project for a few months now, and has been living at the site of his creation since the beginning of December. Ironically, as the Irish Times reports, since the old currency was given to him, Buckley's single-largest expense in building his house made of money was some wallpaper. It cost him about 35 euros ($46).

Watch the video below for a tour of Buckley's money pit and a little of the sad inspiration behind its construction.