A child's stuffed animal. A pair of socks. A coffee mug. They are the casualties of the daily bustle of New York's Grand Central Terminal -- objects dropped by commuters racing for a train or left behind at a ticket counter.
Normally, these unclaimed items would just accumulate at a lost-and-found office at Grand Central, the city's giant railway station. But for the next month, they have been elevated to the world of art.
''Lost Property,'' a ''living art'' exhibit of the misplaced belongings of train commuters, opened May 11 at the terminal. It is one of four Manhattan creations entitled ''LOST: New York Projects,'' by French conceptual artist Christian Boltanski. ''It is a portrait of a New Yorker. But it is also universal,'' says Mr. Boltanski, known for fashioning his works from everyday materials such as blurry family snapshots and bare light bulbs. ''It's always the one who looks at the piece who makes the piece. If people look at these things, they will recognize themselves.''
They also might recognize their belongings. It's too late to reclaim any of the items, though an exception might be made if a child wails ''That's my doll!''