Mechelse Ancona (CCP12)

Mechelse Cubalaya

Mechelse Cubalaya


The various phenotypes show characteristics of the eleven different chicken breeds that were crossed into this generation of the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project / recognisable elements from Belgium, France, Great Britain, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, Turkey and Cuba.




An Italian chicken breed, named after the city of the same name / taken to Great Britain by the English in the mid-19th century / exported from England to other parts of the world / very popular thanks to its good laying capacity / nevertheless listed as an endangered species / bred in black and white beaded (the original and most appreciated colours) and blue and white beaded.


Vanmechelen found Anconas in the Netherlands, in someone’s garden.

Birthplace of the first chicks

Meeuwen-Gruitrode, on Koen Vanmechelen's home farm

First showing

Collateral Event of 53rd Venice Biennale, Venetië (IT), 2009

CCP Ancona Unicorn Venice 2009

The unexpected, the appeal of the chicken

Serendipity at work...

During the 53rd Venice Biennale, Koen Vanmechelen was present at a collateral event. On the small island of Certosa, he showcased a huge gold ring (6m diameter). The artwork not only referred to ringing birds, infinity and the combination of past, present and future, but also to the annual ceremony that was once held in honour of the Doge of Venice: a ring was thrown into the Adriatic to keep disaster away from the city. For the artist, his participation in this Biennale signaled that it was time for Italy to join the CCP story. As is often the case in a place where waters meet, Venice is also a major melting pot of cultures, a cosmopolitan place.