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Abode of Chaos against France before the European Court of Human Rights On 9 December 2009 the Abode of Chaos celebrated the tenth an­ niversary of its legal struggle for freedom of expression. Less than a week later... the decision was ren­ dered. On 15 December 2009, The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, in the context of a second appeal, ruled that the 4,509 works of art forming the body of the Abode of Chaos, founded by the artist thierry Ehrmann in 1999, should be destroyed. Founded by the conceptual act of Thierry Ehrmann on 9 December 1999, the Demeure du Chaos (dix­ it the Abode of Chaos by the New York Times) is an œuvre au noir (nigredo) inspired by the alchem­ ical chaos of the 21st Century, the tragic and yet sumptuous em­ bers of which were ignited on 11 September 2001.

Today, the Abode of Chaos - hav­ ing been the subject of more than 1,800 press and TV articles in 72 countries over its 13 years of existence - is a unique and un­ avoidable art 'Factory' and a recognised landmark on the in­ ternational art scene. Open to the public free of charge museum, it operates as an open-air muse­ um, presenting more than 4,509 works and it welcomes more than 120,000 visitors a year. As an ERP (Establishment Receiving Public), the Abode of Chaos received 828,128 visitors (21% of forei­ gners) between 18 February 2006 and 30 July 2012. It also doubles as a residence for a number of ­artists. Since 1999 (for the last thirteen years), the local authority of SaintRomain-au-Mont-d’Or (where the Abode is located) has been pursu­ ing a crusade of artistic negation against the Abode of Chaos and continues to call for “works to re­

store the building to its original state”… which means its destruc­ tion! This historic case should be heard at the European Court of Human Rights in the framework of Article 10 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Case law on Article 10 shows that the court has frequently ruled against France. The rejection of this appeal demon­strates the will of the Supreme Court to judge the plan­ ning laws and the application that has been made of them by the Court of Grenoble as not being in violation of the freedom of expres­ sion guaranteed by the Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. More than ever, thierry Ehrmann, with his collective of artists and the support of 139,401 petition­

ers, will plead his cause energeti­ cally and forcefully to uphold and defend the right to freedom of ­expression by launching an action against the Supreme Court’s se­ cond judgment and against France before the European Court of Human Rights. According to Thierry Ehrmann, this decision violates his free­ dom of expression which cannot be subject to planning regulations alone, since artistic expression has been a national and a universal right since time immemorial. As such, the petition to save the Abode of Chaos from destruction is continuing stronger than ever before. It will allow this extraordi­ nary legal dispute to be taken be­ fore the appropriate international jurisdictions.

to steer its national cultural po­ licy (particularly with respect to the principle of free entry to mu­ seums), the Abode of Chaos is a genuine and original response. In 2013-2014, the historic le­ gal battle: Abode of Chaos, thier­ ry et Nadège Ehrmann and the company VHI against France in defense of the freedom of expres­ sion is already considered by nu­ merous international art journals, histo­rians, critics and lawyers specialized in literary and artis­ tic property as a 21st Century European version of the famous Brancusi trial against the USA in 1928. The aim of this famous trial, won by Brancusi at the end of the proceedings, was the reconstruc­ tion of a consensus in the USA, framed by law, concerning the fair delimitation of the frontiers of cognitive art.

At a time when France is contem­ plating its loss of global artistic in­ fluence and seems unsure of where

 Portrait de Constantin Brâncuși

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Opus IX: Abode of Chaos / La Demeure du Chaos 1999-2013  

thierry Ehrmann: we put all our passion and folly into preparing this French-English Collector, the book of the decade: 504 pages / 4.5 kg /...

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