Thierry Ehrmann was perhaps an unlikely candidate for scandal when he created a museum in 1999. Founder and CEO of the Serveur Group, a large company with over 400 employees and 70 billion Euros of annual revenue, and Artprice, ensuring Ehrmann spent many years deeply entrenched in the art world. But Ehrmann now finds himself embroiled in a legal battle that, at its core, questions whether art is more important than history.
In 1999, Ehrmann moved back to Lyon, his ancestral home, and began transforming his 17th-century house into a radical piece of ever-changing art. The home/museum was intended to reflect chaos, as its name “The Abode of Chaos” in English suggests. The installations reflect the political turmoil of the world: burned cars in the parking lot, a sculpture of the fallen World Trade Center towers, rubble walls, and falling cables. Ehrmann also plans to build walls that mimic the Berlin Wall and the separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank. The house is still being transformed by artists invited to work in situ at the abode.
But the city of Lyon has not been happy with the transformation of a prized architectural home into an “Abode of Chaos.” Ehrmann has been fined for illegal construction, and his legal battle has made it up to the French Supreme Court. Whether the court will appreciate Ehrmann’s vision for the “The Abode of Chaos” remains to be seen.