Keelung fans deflated over burst Duck
By Queena Yen, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Keelung Rubber Duck was absent during Keelung's New Year's Eve countdown party and left some visitors heartbroken after the public artwork exploded at noon yesterday.
January 1, 2014, 12:15 am TWN
Torn from the right side of its head, the formerly inflated Duck was almost cut in half according to witnesses at the scene. The organizer immediately informed Hofman, the Dutch artist who created the Rubber Duck, of the incident.
Repair, not Replace
Kaohsiung City said immediately that Keelung can borrow their Rubber Duck so it could accompany Keelung's citizens in their countdown to the New Year. Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) said that since the Rubber Duck represents love and peace, she would love to share it with Keelung's citizens.
However, Huang Ching-tai (黃景泰), Keelung City Council Speaker and the person who initiated the process that led to Keelung's Rubber Duck display said they would have to turn down this offer due to concerns about the Duck's safety in Keelung.
“We appreciate Chen's kindness. However, after discussion with the organizer and the manufacturer of the Keelung Rubber Duck, we decided to fix the duck as soon as possible instead of borrowing one from Kaohsiung,” stated Huang.
Huang said that the unstable weather conditions in Keelung may regretfully damage the Kaohsiung Duck, and that Keelung's organizers will repair the Rubber Duck as soon as possible since the exhibition will last until Feb. 8.
Airglow Co. Ltd. (大氣層公司) will be responsible for the repairs to the Duck.
A spokesperson for the company, Le Yu-ting (樂宇庭), said it will take time to repair the Rubber Duck, so it is hard to say when it will return to Keelung Harbor. The company will fix it as soon as possible, Le said.
The Keelung City government has built a “prayer wall” and invited all visitors to pray for recovery of the Rubber Duck.
The organizers pointed out that they have already borrowed a Rubber Duck from the next scheduled rubber duck exhibition and it will be in Keelung on Jan. 4 to continue the exhibition.
What Blew Up the Duck?
The reason for the Duck's explosion yesterday remains a mystery. Some people said an eagle in the harbor may have been the culprit.
Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典), chief meteorologist of the Central Weather Bureau (CWB,中央氣象局), said the temperature differences between the interior and exterior sides of the rubber duck could be to blame.
Cheng said that weather conditions have a huge influence on balloons, and yesterday was the first day that the Keelung rubber duck was bathed in sunshine. The sunlight may have caused an increase in the air pressure in the interior of the rubber duck, causing it to burst.
In addition, Chen also pointed out that the cleaning with a water hose the Duck recieved may also have caused the damage.
A citizen poses for a picture with the Keelung rubber duck at the moment it suddenly exploded in Keelung yesterday. The rubber duck tore from the right side and almost split in ...
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