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The House Worth a Billion…..Or So

How did an unemployed Irishman, nearly homeless, build a $1.5 billion house? It turns out that the Central Bank of Ireland was just giving money away, and artist Frank Buckley showed up with a trailer. So, what’s the catch? The bills were all decommissioned and shredded, packaged neatly into 6X2” bricks — each worth (once upon a time) $56,000. Now, the bills have been fused into Buckley’s new house. He stacked the bricks into million-dollar walls and scattered thousands across the floor as a makeshift carpet. Artwork made from the bills and coins adorn the walls. Buckley has a personal stake in his work, mainly because he was a casualty of Ireland’s shoddy lending practices. Even though he had no income, he was allowed to take out a 100% mortgage on a home within commuting distance from Dublin’s city center. Unfortunately, he quickly saw the $410,000 mortgage evaporate, along with his marriage. Now, Buckley has found that sometimes worthless bills can help construct a much better home than the legal tender kind.