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Cairo bemused by German art stunt

Johan Lorbeer's equipment on the wall of the Goethe institute
All that was left to rescue was bits of Johan Lorbeer's equipment

A man apparently stuck to a wall with his bare hand sparked a brief emergency in central Cairo, before rescuers found out it was part of a German art show.

Installation artist Johan Lorbeer had harnessed himself to a fake hand secured high off the ground to the wall of the Goethe Cultural Centre.

He had already got down, leaving some clothing and the hand in place, when the emergency services arrived.

An institute official was unfazed by all the fuss, calling it an "illusion".

With the sirens blaring and a crowd of curious onlookers gathered, the official, Beate Kohler, enthusiastically told an AFP reporter they had been trying to invite Lorbeer to Cairo for more than two years.

His work - part street illusion, part art installation - is relatively well known in Europe.

He has appeared high up on the walls of various German and other European cities, in one apparition standing out horizontally dressed as a street cleaner with a broom.

But his most famous guise is the one seen - briefly - in Cairo, a man appearing to lean against the wall with one hand, but magically suspended above the pavement.

However, the installation didn't go down that well with some of the Egyptian passers-by.

"The Germans are laughing at us," said one man who has been attracted by the large crowd, as he turned away with a derisive snort.

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