French 'human hen' artist hatches first chick

2017-04-18 20:01
French artist Abraham Poincheval sits on real chicken eggs at the Palais de Tokyo. (Stephane de Sakutin, AFP)

French artist Abraham Poincheval sits on real chicken eggs at the Palais de Tokyo. (Stephane de Sakutin, AFP)

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Paris - A French artist who has spent three weeks sitting on 10 eggs hatched his first chick on Tuesday.

Abraham Poincheval - who made headlines last month after spending a week entombed inside an egg-shaped rock - has hardly slept since he stepped inside a glass vitrine in a Paris modern art museum to sit on the eggs on March 29.

But late on Tuesday afternoon the first of the eggs began to hatch, forcing the artist to temporarily rise from his nest for fear of crushing the new-born.

Up until then Poincheval was only allowed a half-hour break every 24 hours to keep him from cracking - although he never once left the glass case in the Palais de Tokyo.

Cut off from outside world

"It has been really tough for him. He has slept sitting on the eggs. It's been a lot harder than being shut inside the rock," said a spokesperson for the museum.

What is more the 44-year-old has had to contend with the heat, having to keep the eggs at a minimum of 37°C.

He has also been all but cut off from the outside world. "His voice is quite muffled through the glass," the spokesperson added. "It is quite frustrating to communicate sometimes."

From the start, Poincheval - dubbed France's most extreme artist - appeared far more daunted by the performance than his claustrophobia-defying spell inside the rock.

Cooped up in one corner of the vitrine in a heavy traditional Korean cape on a specially designed "laying table", the usually amiable artist avoided the gaze of gallery goers and retreated into himself.

However, as cracks appeared in the first of the eggs, his spirits lifted.

Human children

His ordeal is far from over, however. Although the chick has cracked a large hole in the top of its shell, it has shown no sign of wanting to leave it.

And its nine siblings must also hatch before Poincheval can go home to his two human children.

"The chicks will stay with Abraham inside the vitrine for 72 hours," the museum's spokesperson said.


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