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Giant yellow duck victim of Taiwan quake

November 1, 2013 3:41pm

Tags: Taiwan
An approximation of the damage in Taiwan. The deflated 'Rubber Duck' by Dutch conceptual artist Florentijn Hofman floats at Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor on Tuesday, May 14. The 16.5-meter-high inflatable sculpture, which made its first public appearance in the territory on May 2, will be shown at the Ocean Terminal for a month. The Rubber Duck was deflated after some of its parts broke. Reuters/Tyrone Siu
TAIPEI (AFP) - A giant yellow duck on display in Taiwan became a high-profile victim of Thursday's earthquake after it deflated before exploding during an attempt to reinflate it, officials said Friday.

The 18-meter-tall (59-feet) duck in northern Taoyuan county began to deflate when an air pump went off during a power outage triggered by the 6.3-magnitude quake on Thursday night.

The earthquake shook buildings in the capital Taipei and across much of Taiwan, sending panicked residents running for shelter, although only a few minor injuries and little damage were reported.

However, organizers were forced to suspend the exhibit of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's giant bath-toy replica, after powerful winds caused the duck's rear end to burst while it was being re-inflated on Friday morning, rendering it a flattened yellow disc floating on a pond.

Officials said the damage would be difficult to repair and they were planning to borrow another Hofman-designed duck commissioned by Kaohsiung city government, which attracted four million visitors during a one-month display in the southern port earlier this year.

The duck in Kaohsiung—a slightly larger version of the one that captivated Hong Kong recently—was temporarily deflated and lifted to land as a safety precaution when the powerful Typhoon Usagi pounded the island in September.

Since 2007 the original duck designed by Hofman—which is 16.5 meters tall—has travelled to 13 cities in nine countries, including Brazil and Australia, on its journey around the world. — Agence France-Presse
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Tags: Taiwan

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