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18 Million Euro House by Enigma's Michael Cretu Torn Down by Bulldozers
Cretu took nine years to build the house, with an architectonic style halfway between a monastery and a castle. Photo: Vicen Mari /El Pais.

IBIZA, SPAIN.- Tractor trailers worked without a license during six months in 1996 to shave the top of a hill in the zone of Corona in Sant Antoni de Ibiza. French musician, Michael Cretu (Bucharest, 1957), the soul of music group Enigma, obtained a construction permit one year after initiating the construction of a dream home that measures 3,150 square meters. Fourteen years and a pile of lawsuits after, other tractors are tearing down the house since a judge ordered this action. Cretu has valued his house at over 18 million Euros.

"They had been warned it was illegal. This is a victory that we wished we had not celebrated but it is historic because it was a brutality”, said Neus Prats of the Studies of Nature Group (GEN-GOB), who headed the legal action against the house until it reached the Supreme Court. Cretu took nine years to build the house, with an architectonic style halfway between a monastery and a castle, reason for which he shaved off three meters from the hill. To absorb the visual impact, he surrounded the house with palms and other trees.

"Cretu’s house could have been used as a public space”, said the Populist Party (extreme right Spanish political party) mayor, Joan Pantaleoni, who denies that the musician will be paid the 18 million euros saying that he was only allowed to build on 700 square meters.

Cretu was born to a Romanian father and a mother of Austrian ancestry. His uncle, Ion Voicu, a famous Romanian violinist and the director of the Bucharest Philharmonic told Michael's parents that he has talent in music and as such, he studied classical music at Liceul Nr. 2 in Bucharest in 1965 and in Paris, France in 1968. He later attended the Academy of Music in Frankfurt, Germany from 1975 to 1978, attaining a degree in music. Cretu was taken on as a keyboard player and producer for Frank Farian, the German mastermind behind successful acts of the 1970s and 1980s such as Boney M and Milli Vanilli.

In the 1980s, Cretu took over production for the pop quartet Hubert Kah and started writing songs with the band leader Hubert Kemmler, achieving a number of hits. Among his other work, Cretu was also one of the producers of Mike Oldfield's 1987 album Islands, specifically on its sixth track, "The Time has Come" and the producer of Peter Schilling's 1989 album The Different Story (World of Lust and Crime), specifically on its first track, "The Different Story (World of Lust and Crime)."

Cretu met his future wife, Sandra Lauer (later Sandra Cretu), when he was playing keyboards on the band Arabesque’s live touring show. In collaboration with several Hubert Kah band members, he co-wrote and produced several successful albums and singles for her, beginning with the song "Maria Magdalena" which topped the charts in 21 countries. The band was simply called Sandra, although Sandra's full name is now often used for filing and identification purposes. Cretu married her on 7 January 1988. They have twins named Nikita and Sebastian, who were born in 1995. Michael and Sandra divorced in November 2007, citing "personal and professional differences".

Another band of Cretu's was called Moti Special ("Cold Days, Hot Nights"), which Cretu produced and performed with in the mid-1980s.

He owned the first A.R.T. Studios in Ibiza before moving to a new mansion in the Ibiza hills. His new house, on the western coast of Ibiza, is a Moroccan-style mansion and was designed and built over nine years by Bernd Steber and Gunter Wagner. It also features a brand new, state-of-the-art recording studio, which saved the original name, from which he hopes to release more albums in the future.

His house was deemed ilegally built and in infringement of Spanish environmental regulations. It began to be demolished by Spanish authorities in May 2009

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