Rubber Duck attracts 200,000 admirers on first day in Kaohsiung

09/19/2013 10:35 PM

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) Some 200,000 spectators flocked to Kaohsiung's harbor Thursday for a peep at the world-famous Rubber Duck sculpture, despite the threat of an approaching typhoon.

No ordinary bath toy, this duck comes in at 18 meters tall and 1,000 kilograms heavy, making it the largest of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck series to nest in Asia.

Due to expected inclement weather brought by Typhoon Usagi, however, the duck will have to be temporarily put back to coop.

Kaohsiung Information Bureau chief Lai Jui-lung said that Rubber Duck will be deflated and flattened by Friday afternoon for safe storage until the storm passes.

Construction teams are equipped with lighting so they can work through the night in case of a need to get the duck to roost quickly if the wind picks up, he said.

Hofman spoke at the duck's unveiling earlier in the day, where he said he was moved by the passion of the Taiwanese and praised the quality of the duck, which was manufactured locally.

Kaohsiung is the first leg of Rubber Duck's migration around Taiwan, which will see it nest in Taoyuan and Keelung in the north.

The southern city predicts an influx of some 3 million visitors and around NT$1 billion (US$33.71 million) for local businesses, many of which have hatched duck-themed products and services.

Since 2007, Hofman's duck sculptures have visited 15 cities around the world, including Amsterdam, Sydney and Hong Kong.

(By Cheng Che-fon and Lee Hsin-Yin)ENDITEM/WH

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