May 10, 2020 | Ibiza Blog | 0 comments

Top 10 Ibiza Scandals

Ibiza Blog | 0 comments

Written by Dan Kirwan

Welcome to Part II of our Ibiza Scandals. This weekend we recount four more stories and tomorrow we publish our Nature Report for April. On Tuesday the final part of our Top Ten Scandals where we feature what was, one of the biggest Scandals ever to hit the island. 

Ibiza has always loved drama, gossip and intruige. Its a romantic island full of dreamers, pirates, black sheep and missfits all of mixed blood and culture. Both the Cartagians and Romans viewed Ebusus as a portal to the next life, the fields of Elysium that swept down to Atlantis. The islands potent energy drives those of a certain disposition to destruction – a place that tempts extremes. 

The Micheal Cretu Affair.

Back in the nineties, a groundbreaking music producer, Romanian Michael Cretu, burst onto the Worlds electronic scene with an unusual sound that we in Northern Europe, had not heard before.  Enigma was music for the New Age Travellers of the World, so it was no surprise that the project was born and nurtured in Ibiza. The artistic inspiration for Enigma was truly Balearic, a style of music that did not conform to traditional guidelines, artistic and mystic in its expression, while utilising experimental techniques in sound and mixing.

Cretu recorded the iconic Gregorian Chant inspired album MCMXC a.D  in Ibiza before transfering the recording studio into a magical underground cavern looking out over the sea. Designed by Bernd Stabler and aptly named A.R.T Studios Ibiza  it was constructed on the side of a hill overlooking Cap NoNo in San Antonio. The most successful Gregorian chant of all time, Sadness, was recorded with Cretu’s Wife, Sandra Ann Lauer, on vocals. The studio was the creative kitchen of Cretu’s music, inspired by the islands energy and bathed in rich views of sunset that provided a natural canvas for his work. Sadly, that magical studio where Enigma was born, is no more, demolished after a political scandal that tried to protect it.

Construction of the 3,000 square meter Moroccan-style mansion began in April 1997, after the local PP Town Mayor, disregarding environmentalist advise that it was a protected area, signed the permit to proceed. The construction took nine years to build at a cost of €20 million. It took only three weeks to demolish.

The artist painted a night sky with thousands of stars, the walls of open porous sandstone had speakers built into them with two big Arabic stone arches at the entrance.

The Balearic Courts in Palma heard that Cretu started building without obtaining the correct planning permission, which was only later issued by San Antonio’s town hall. He then refurbished and enlarged without official sign off,  enraging his neighbours and the islands very effective green activist group, GEN, who campaigned publically for the villa to be demolished.

In 2003, after years of  complex legal action, the Spanish Supreme court ruled that the Villa was built in an area of maximum environmental protection with an illegal building licence, and issued the order for demolition. This did not go down well with the local PP party who had lobbied hard to retain the property and studio as a special case, using their infulence to pass legislation in Palma via the Ibiza Island Council offices, to halt the demolition.  The PP claimed the property was not built on a hill, (to bypass the Spanish Law that prevents building on hills) when clearly it was from all evidence available. A Mexican standoff ensued, between the PP council supporting Cretu in San Antonio and the Supreme Court in Palma. The PP employed every legal trick and loophole in the book to preserve the artists home, but the courts kept issuing fines to the municipality.

A political scandal mired in corruption, black money and some powerful local names, came out in the wash during the legal investigation which arose the attention of the international press. After 14 years of controversy, at 09.15am on a sunny May 7 morning bulldozers hired by San Antonio town council at a cost of €350K  moved in and started the demolition. Cretu sold all his property and assets on the island and left never to return.  However the political fault lines of that affair still echo today. At the time the PSOE demanded that those responsible for the affair, including the PP mayor and technicians who originally awarded the permits back in 1997, should personally pay the fines and the €18 million compensation Cretu sued the council for, a sum that could bankrupt municipality.  Soon after the same names and factions were embroiled in another environmental battle as two major infrastructure projects, highways from Ibiza to San Antonio and Airport displaced hundreds of families on the island.



Elmyr De Horay

Elmyr de Hory was born in Transylvania into privilege and drifted on to Paris after the allies liberated him from a Nazi refugee camp. A dilettante painter, he sold a copy of his friend Picasso’s painting, establishing himself as highly talented imitator. He was considered the World’s Greatest Art forger, was involved in many close shaves and was chased out of America and France as an International warrant was issued for his arrest. Ibiza protected him as long as they could, but the French were persistant and forced Spains hand to give him up. Instead of capture, it was rumoured Elmyr he took his own life and after being prounced dead at Can Misses hostipal in 1976. There were also rumours he “Faked” his own death.

IbizaGate Scandal

Ibiza-gate, was a political scandal  involving Austrian Heinz-Christian Strache, former vice chancellor and Johann Gudenus, a deputy leader of the Freedom Party. The scandal broke last year, after a secretly recorded video commissioned by Iranian lawyer, Ramin Mirfakhrai, recorded a party in a private Ibiza villa between opposition politicians, Strache and Gudenus, discussing their corrupt agenda to share power together.  The scandal brought down the Austrian government on 18 May 2019.

San Antonio Stabbing

San Antonio was at the centre of national headlines when a 41-year-old Moroccan man went on a crazed rampage in the town in 2016. Mohamed el Badoui, a resident of 15 years, left the Marino Hostel and strolled to the nearby Suma, where he proceeded to knife one of the shelf-stackers and a lady cashier before running out onto the street. He then entered the Micaló Hostel and stabbed knife its two owners. His next victim was a hairdresser who was on her way to catch a bus. During the rampage he stabbed a further six people. Read more 


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