This is an unlikely consequence of the Irish economic crisis. Artist Frank Buckley decided to express his anger about the property boom and bust by building a house from more than a billion euros of decommissioned notes.

In the lobby of the Glass House, an empty office building that stands as a relic to Ireland’s cataclysmic property bust, money is changing hands between an old woman and a 15-year-old girl.

“Go off there and get a couple of sweets for yourself,” says the woman, as she hands over a block of €50,000 (£42,000) notes.

“I should have brought my handbag in here, I could have made a fortune,” she jokes.

The money, which forms a pulped brick of shredded notes, is part of an art installation – and home – built by unemployed Dublin-based artist Frank Buckley.

Mr Buckley has invited strangers into the space in the hope that it will inspire debate on the state of Irish national debt and the meaning of currency….

…”I thought, ‘God, this is what this paper is doing to us?,'” he says.

He decided to create art that would bring the absurdity of the Irish economic situation to light and made paintings from the shredded notes and coins which he exhibited towards the end of last year.

Then the idea came to him to build a house.

“I was sitting outside the Glass House building waiting for a friend of mine to come out and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t this be fantastic, to do a structure inside the building with the shredded notes,'” he says.

He rang the building’s agent who had seen a review of his most recent exhibition and forwarded him immediately to the owner who was immediately keen.

The mint agreed to supply him with more bricks of decommissioned notes. There was a vast amount of paperwork involved but mint officials were very accommodating and took care of it….

…Since he opened it to the public on Monday the house has received more than 300 visitors and Mr Buckley is overwhelmed by the positive reaction to it.

But despite the success of the installation he is still struck daily by the poignancy of the Irish economic situation and recalls the reaction of his young visitor as she handled the block of useless notes.

“The girl said, ‘If I could use this as money, I would get out of this country.'” he says. “And to me that was really sad.”

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