While they listen to the sounds of a chick hatching there, a few steps away, a crow tilts its head and takes a few sips of water in a small artificial pond.

Installed on the Place des Cinq Coins - which in the eighteenth century was an arena of combat for animals - this acoustic work of art symbolizes a call to empathy towards them in the era of climate change.

"This chick and the pond next to it show a sensitivity towards the non-human residents of Warsaw," said Aldona Machnowska-Gora, deputy mayor of Warsaw at the inauguration.

"Feel free to approach the egg and hug it. It makes for an amazing experience," she says.

"We care so much about our well-being. It's like a total obsession (...) It's time to think about other species," says Joanna Rajkowska, the artist behind the egg-sculpture.

At about two metres high and three metres long, 'L'chik' is an enlarged version of an egg of a songbird.

"Inside, instead of a chick, we have a lot of electronics, a lot of circuits and sound transducers (..) So the chick speaks," Rajkowska adds.

You can also hear his heartbeat, which is three times faster than the human heart," she says. "Basically, it's the desperate life trying to get out of the egg."

The artist is also the author of a huge fake palm tree that has added a tropical touch to the gray Polish capital, becoming a popular iconic place.

Similarly, the egg is supposed to be "surreal, unexpected and slightly disconnected from reality."

Piotr Nowacki, a Warsawn, is a fan of the project. He went there several times to take "a break from the routine, something a little abstract, surprising".

Polish artist Joanna Rajkowska puts her ear on her egg on display in Warsaw, June 8, 2023 © Wojtek RADWANSKI / AFP/Archives

"It also educates, draws your attention to nature (...) " It's nice that it's dynamic, that it's alive, isn't it?" the 36-year-old engineer told AFP.

"We are making "habitats" of animals "smaller and smaller. We are concreting everything," said Rajkowska.

"The chick is actually a sad project. It is tinged with disappointment but also with hope that one day we will be mature enough to see beyond ourselves."

© 2023 AFP